The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

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

Post by neptronix » Mar 05 2019 1:30pm

boars wrote:
Feb 21 2019 9:47pm
Having said all of that, none of this should apply to Endless Sphere - as far as I'm aware (I haven't bothered to look deeply) there's no advert platform or user tracking analytics (aside GA which is fairly lightweight).
This forum is optimized as much as phpbb can be optimized, and then there's some custom database format optimizations too. In no way would i taint that with some chunky bloatware. I have even considered running an assembly language based web server to squeeze another few msecs out of each http response :mrgreen:. Don't worry about bloat here..
In other news: please keep FB tracking/login/anything the heck away from here though
Of course. GA is all i'd want to install. Just because i need high quality info on how much traffic we are getting. Normally i'd run Matomo analytics instead, but it is a cpu hog on the server itself. Yuo can easily block google analytics if you are privacy focused.
Also you could always add optional skins if you were to change the look and feel of the site, that way old users that prefer the old look could then switch to that look and feel - get the best of both worlds.
We already have that feature ;). Just find the theme switcher in the user control panel, but be warned that the default theme in phpbb 3.2.x is buggy compared to the default theme i created. Only use it if you can't handle change.

Unfortunately there are not a lot of good themes for phpbb 3.2.x because most webmasters cannot handle the complexity of them, or maybe there is just a declining interest in phpbb. We wanted a variety of looks available, but there just aren't many good ones, thus se_square_nx was born. I wanted the look to be more modern and have hints of reddit, but got stalled on making anything other than conservative changes.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by tomjasz » May 07 2019 7:02pm

Facebook has kinda died off since Nep and Sam left. Still an ok source but it has changed.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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

Post by neptronix » May 12 2019 4:44pm

tomjasz wrote:
May 07 2019 7:02pm
Facebook has kinda died off since Nep and Sam left. Still an ok source but it has changed.
That sucks, but not a surprise. I still refuse to use FB. I would rather my internet experience be totally socially alienated than go back to that mess.
Almost 200 people joined the mewe group ( magnetic motion ) but promptly played dead a day after. So that's dead for the most part. I'm still enjoying mewe though. :)
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

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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Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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

Post by TheBeastie » May 12 2019 5:43pm

You like Mewe? I think I may have briefly tried it but decided it wasn't for me, I tend to just follow the big crowds, haven't heard of anyone big on there.

The co-founder of Facebook created a pretty good video as to why Facebook should be split up, he seems to quite dislike Zuckerberg, and his argument was quite intelligent.
https://twitter.com/nytopinion/status/1 ... 2302996481

One of my most favourite Youtube videos on global warming/climate change disappeared off my Facebook timeline, the video is still on YouTube but it disappeared of my post on FB, so unless I deleted it by mistake, I actually think Facebook did a discrete "videos we don't like purge on everyone's timeline".

I am really interested in seeing the internet kill traditional broadcast media, I really think it will be society transforming once it happens, I think in general people will become better informed and be more healthy.
This article from ZeroHedge just came out, its quite apt, I really feel this is the problem, people get brainwashed from broadcast TV, at least over time with the internet they will be able to pick from millions of people very customized set of people to brainwash them, at worse. This is far better than what we have now.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05- ... ing-nation

The only big problem with internet services like Facebook is how a lot of people treat it like TV, in that they don't really search or navigate it, they just swipe and let the algorithms decide what they will see. That's behaviour little different than just flicking up down on TV channels of traditional broadcast.

Almost everyone whos being kicked off Facebook/Twitter, have moved to Telegram, as in the famous internet celebrity like Milo Yiannopoulos etc.

I have yet to get on Telegram because at least for web-browser mode it starts off asking for your mobile number. I remember using Telegram a few years ago and it didn't have such requirements but it was pretty simple web-based IRC channel back then, I can't imagine it being successful for really large followings as basic IRC style isn't really a "structured interface".


I don't mind Gab, Milo jumps on gab now and then, but I don't really use it's not as "alive" as Twitter/Facebook etc.
One of its major upsides is it has a night mode theme which I find important.

I find my self enjoying minds.com whenever I go on there, always seems to be interesting stuff on there, but no nite-mode/dark-mode.
I find full brightness incredibly annoying, I would use minds.com a lot more if it just had a dark-mode like Twitter/Youtube have.

I was wondering when it would be clear the internet has taken over "broadcast media", and I now see that its really at a point where its splitting groups apart, and creating a great divide.
Some types who almost live in it and see broadcast media as just weird waste of time and others who see it the other way around.

I am starting to notice trends where large follower-pockets live within themselves, and some of the pockets they live in are really quite weird.

For example, check out these extremely different people/internet celebrities, and a lot of them are incredibly weird.
https://twitter.com/rooshv/status/1127553756650979328

The thing that seems clear to me is that YouTube employs "algo-privilege" for YouTubers, someone inside YouTube decides a particular content maker is "good" and YouTube constantly recommends their videos to people.
I think James Charles is an example of "algo-privilege" where someone inside YouTube decided this person should be made more popular.
I don't like any "algo-privilege", I think the most important thing that can happen on the internet right now is to have fair algorithms, freedom of speech and just let the "free market" play its self out.
James Charles turning out to be a bigger weirdo than anticipated is the result of the tech giants creating their "false algo-privilege economies"

One of the most interesting and healthy parts of YouTube is seeing Youtubers criticize each other, people making videos talking about how dumb the other person ideas are, this is really healthy, even if a lot of dumb people are going to be persuaded to believe the wrong side, over time they should get better at judgement.

It seems like we are in the stage of "if you can imagine it, there is a group for it", I have found social media groups like "Lesbians/Transgenders for nuclear energy"
On the rightwingers, I have found there are types that talk/dream about every kind of socialist utopian idea like UBI/free university/free-health-care, but zero immigration, no tolerance to transgenders etc. And extremely environmentally conscious.
That is to say, if you took out there anti-immigration anti-transgenders stance would have thought you were listening to someone who was of the extreme-left. So the near full-circle view of the two opposing sides in some ways can get remarkably close.

So as the internet continues to expand and absorb everything, it really seems to be that if you can "imagine a type of group" someone out there has or is thinking about creating it.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » May 12 2019 6:35pm

The internet is a crowded enough place that the only way to form and hold relationships is to continue to fragment into smaller and smaller groups as time goes on. And some other forces are causing that to happen too.

I noticed this with endless sphere facebook. Despite all kinds of work to maintain the vibe it started with, community cohesion got worse and worse as the group grew. After the first thousand people, it was downhill from there. People tried to hijack it. Prebuilt bike sellers tried all sneaky kinds of guerilla marketing. The community stopped self policing, so we had to define rules and enforce them. It was no longer fun to run the place. It was like running a government, but without any of the tax revenue.

Unfortunately this is the case of every forum or group that becomes large.

Right now we are seeing the mainstream sites chuck whoever is low on the social acceptability spectrum, as a means of increasing palatability to advertisers. This has of course resulted in sites like gab and voat being formed.

We also have the crypto anarchists thinking ahead and creating things like steemit, dtube, zeronet, etc.

And facebook trying to consume literally every aspect of communication in the internet they can.

I don't know where this all leads. All i know is that we need a high quality place to discuss DIY electric vehicle building that is free of a lot of crap you see in other communities.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

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 Josh K. » May 23 2019 11:21pm

Hi Folks,

I like the Endless Sphere Forum myself, and agree that fakebook really creates no value. I migrated over here back in the day,
after the power-assist yahoo group fizzled out. The Josh Goldberg, and Dave Hammond guys with early bolt on power adventures.

The real values are created by the long adventures in actual builds, new information, experiments, photos and stats. I enjoy the
true building experience, creativity, and long shot attempts that we make.

I think the challenges are coming from when people get power hungry, and start taking other people's info, and creating their
own sites, drawing lots of traffic to their business. We have seen some Hickups along the way that have been powerful, and
has changed the landscape for sure. Nowadays the fast retail online gimme gimme now syndrome has changed a lot of the
game.

But for some of us, we are not into the fastest, cheapest, wizbang deal of the day. For some of us, we are in it for the long ride,
and appreciate the values created by quality, efficiency, and futuristic thinking...Future people need peers to work with, and a
cool place to do it. Personally, I think the fakebook days are numbered, and we are seeing more and more people leave there too.

Somehow, People need inspiration to build, and make things again. I think that our country is well equipped to use these great
pieces from all over the world, and to make new electric human hybrids for better tomorrows...I hope that this forum can continue
to be a great resource for the deep dives, and inspirations for the next generation of advanced vehicle designs.

Peace, Josh K.
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
Custom E bike designer, Mechanic, and electric diagnostics expert.
Climbed Mnt. Washington twice, Pikes peak twice, PIR, First Electric Cyclist to Ride the Rockies 2012, All on handbuilt pedal assist E bikes.

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

Post by tomjasz » May 25 2019 8:58pm

There’s a great feature on electricbikereview.com
If a reader highlights a section of another post it pops up with a reply option.
A reader can respond to several other respires by simply highlighting the text to be quoted. Really a nice option. No need to learn any programing lingo.
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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

Post by jonescg » May 26 2019 6:32am

Well I have a couple of new builds coming along, so I will gladly start build logs here (or over on the AEVA forum).

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

Post by neptronix » May 27 2019 7:56pm

Josh K. wrote:
May 23 2019 11:21pm
I think the challenges are coming from when people get power hungry, and start taking other people's info, and creating their
own sites, drawing lots of traffic to their business. We have seen some Hickups along the way that have been powerful, and
has changed the landscape for sure. Nowadays the fast retail online gimme gimme now syndrome has changed a lot of the
game.
Hick-ups have certainly impacted the scene in a negative way, but unfortunately the United States was a power vacuum for a large seller like ebikes.ca or em3ev to take the place, so it was eventual that somebody would take that spot. Actually it is pretty crazy how the USA market just consisted of random small sellers for so long, meanwhile there was golden motor canada, ebikes.ca, power in motion, and other big companies up north doing fine. We really screwed up here in the states.

I think the explosion of the commercial ebike has impacted the scene a lot too.
As well as the fragmentation onto multiple platforms.
Josh K. wrote:
May 23 2019 11:21pm
But for some of us, we are not into the fastest, cheapest, wizbang deal of the day. For some of us, we are in it for the long ride,
and appreciate the values created by quality, efficiency, and futuristic thinking...Future people need peers to work with, and a
cool place to do it. Personally, I think the fakebook days are numbered, and we are seeing more and more people leave there too.

Somehow, People need inspiration to build, and make things again. I think that our country is well equipped to use these great
pieces from all over the world, and to make new electric human hybrids for better tomorrows...I hope that this forum can continue
to be a great resource for the deep dives, and inspirations for the next generation of advanced vehicle designs.
I agree with this 100% especially the whole bit about building things. People are so incredibly lazy these days.. you can still blow a factory bike away in every aspect with a DIY build that just requires you learn how to solder and ask for help if you are stuck.
( all i knew about electronics was how to solder when i came here.. )

When i see people drooling over factory bikes, i just get sad. ES FB had a lot of that going on. Even the DIY culture was slowly dying out there despite our best efforts to stem the tide.

I do miss the days this place was the big tent.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

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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Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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

Post by ZeroEm » May 27 2019 11:22pm

EV's are starting to get some traction, I seen my first EV ad on TV just a couple months ago.
Eight months before that was my first ride in an EV Car.
So I bought Nissan Leaf, helped my brother build his E-bike, joined ES, finishing a E-trike for my mother.

I am trying to spread the word on EV's so I think the outlook for ES is good.
I view most of everyone here as ahead of there time anyway.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by TheBeastie » Jun 02 2019 2:21am

neptronix wrote:
May 27 2019 7:56pm
I agree with this 100% especially the whole bit about building things. People are so incredibly lazy these days.. you can still blow a factory bike away in every aspect with a DIY build that just requires you learn how to solder and ask for help if you are stuck.
( all i knew about electronics was how to solder when i came here.. )

When i see people drooling over factory bikes, i just get sad. ES FB had a lot of that going on. Even the DIY culture was slowly dying out there despite our best efforts to stem the tide.

I do miss the days this place was the big tent.
Yep.
I remember in 2012 someone said on ES words along the lines "I just want to help spread the word on ebikes and get more people using them".

I first came to ES looking for help on choosing a motor/kit, as far as I know ES is still the best place for help with a kit.
In Melbourne, I now see FAR more ebikes that regular bicycles. There are now so many ebikes around inner Melbourne it's ridiculous.
In fact, I can safely say there are more people on ebikes than I EVER thought could be possible, in Melbourne.
^I can't stress this statement enough.

Melbourne is now over 5million people, for what is supposed to be typical a 1st world "livable city", this is a large number, as far as I am concerned, for my research, nice livable cities have smaller populations or at least wider streets to move around.

One of the KEY issues for Melbourne is the streets are typically quite narrow, I would say on average the typical suburban street in the USA is at least TWICE as wide as the typical street in Melbourne, (I have spent MANY MANY hours comparing streets (via google maps Streetview) from many cities in the USA and most USA city streets are just so much wider/smartly built. Wide streets look great especially when they are curved, because you can look down the clear wide street and just grass/trees/house on the horizon, so that tweak fixes the one flaw a wide street has.

Aside from wider streets with trees actually looking far nicer/practical, and its just easier to get around, I actually now see Melbourne as a bit of a shithole after looking at so many cities in the USA via google streetview, I very much stand by that statement with conviction, please note that I have lived in Melbourne my whole life so I am allowed to claim that, with conviction.

Most people on ebikes in Melbourne are on factory build ebikes, kits are probably 10%.
I think I will wait, find a good spot, on a good time of the day and video-record the typical scene of ~10 people on ebikes waiting at a set of red-lights.
Part of the ebike take up in Melbourne is just not overcrowding, but the incredible popularity of UberEats/Deliveroo for people getting food delivered, the ebike is perfect for this, as its very difficult to park a car in inner Melbourne, especially around food establishments. Most of the people doing this are migrants, most UberEats ebike riders are Indians, Indians are in fact the largest single group of new migrants that come to Australia every year (at about 100k per annum), I think its mostly because they will work for next to nothing and don't complain, and big business constantly lobbies the government for the cheapest people who don't complain.

Most of these UberEats ebikers are just doing it to make money and of course, plenty of news reports claim its "slave wage labour', and these ebike delivery people aren't really interested in a nice custom ebike build, its just about getting the job done reliably and as cheaply as possible.
I actually have seen a few Indian food-ebikers riding around on a flat-battery on a direct drive motor, they basically have to stand-push pedal to move at a decent speed.

I know some people have a vision in their minds of a green ebike utopia city, fact is I have seen countless ebikers riddling incredibly recklessly and being very annoying to pedestrians. I think if Melbourne wasn't so engaged with crime and other problems in the city, then ebikes would of been banned in a similar style as what happened in New York. Thanks to Melbournes bigger problems dangerous ebikers is nothing to worry about on the scale of things, and I dont ever see that changing.
If you want to know the typical story of the week in Melbourne dealing with its surge in migrant population over the last ~10 years it's like this
https://twitter.com/9NewsMelb/status/11 ... 7522583552
And the ever-growing divide between people is remarkable, here is a story in Melbourne Chinese convenience shop owner who placed this "sign" on his store window.
https://www.news.com.au/national/victor ... 7ad6f2f24a
The other remarkable thing is the local government broadcaster (ABC-Melbourne) almost never reports on crime, at least on the radio/TV broadcast which is still where 90% the public still get their news. It's basically a scandal in its self.
Watching ABC Melbourne nightly broadcast news bulletins is like watching news of a different city, it's news for the city you wished it was rather than what it actually is.
This is similar to what someone from Russia termed "Hypernormalisation" in the midst of the USSR collapse, where everything is failing and it's just half-mad, but you continue on and pretend everything is normal.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperNorm ... #Etymology
https://youtu.be/fh2cDKyFdyU

Factory ebikes are become a lot cheaper over the last 2 years, about 5 years ago my local bicycle store had a really nice major brand ebike for $5000AUD $4kUSD (good battery location, quality brakes) this price is now looking a bit ridiculous for a typical street legal ebike.
But now I can see an ebike that at least "looks" like similar quality for about $1200 in local stores, and would almost certainly be found for less via searching.

If I was in the market for a new ebike, even though I know just about everything I would ever want to know about building an ebike, some of these nicely designed/built factory "value" ebikes would be tempting. This has been the second wave that is destroying the DIY scene, well-conceived from the ground up quality designed factory ebikes that aren't expensive, I am seeing a lot of such ebikes in the bicycle shop windows now. I think traditionally a pro-bicycle shop should wouldn't feel respected putting ebikes at its front window, but I see it all the time now, I guess bike-shops are just following where the money takes them.

On the future of ES argument...
The traditional web-form is still the most practical/logically place for DIY ebike discussion, most social media sites are designed from cramped text like Twitter.
Even though with Facebook you can type a large amount of test in a single post, most people wont look beyond the first sentence in a reply where the rest of the text is hidden.
The attractiveness of the major social media sites like Twitter and Facebook is the extreme forced simple structure.
For most people they just want something simple.
Wikipedia is similar in that way as well, because every single page is structured in the exact same way, most people will go to Wikipedia for their information because it's the same structured style every time.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Deafcat » Jun 25 2019 12:06pm

ES is a tremendous asset to the EV and ebike communities, innovation, and culture, this is definitely something that I hope to see evolve and reach new and younger audiences... So I will chime in a bit with a few observations:

I'm going to skip entirely over the Mobile vs Desktop concern, it practically goes without saying that both are necessary at all times, and many users probably use both platforms. Mobile only platforms devolve into a hellscape.

Facebook can also be skipped over for the most part, it's a terrible place and many fine folks have vowed never to go there by any means... It's unfortunate to hear of the ES community struggles there but ultimately, no surprise, due to the characteristics of the facebook platform.


Reddit is a big topic to consider... Sure, it lacks the formal organized structure of a forum, but most young people vastly prefer Reddit to Forums. It also works very well on native mobile in browsers, and in various Apps designed specifically to view Reddit with enhancements, themes, you name it. It's not a perfect community format, but it's by far one of the most popular and future-proof, assuming no major deviations in the ownership/mission of Reddit.

I spend a fair bit of time reading/posting on r/ebikes, but of course it rubs me the wrong way that the moderation is essentially in an ebike retailers pocket. Not great, but not out of character for that retailer either.

Has there been much discussion about starting up say, r/eSphere or r/EndlessSphere? Could be a popular little offshoot perhaps. (edit: I registered both but they're all yours... just-in-case)


On the topic of forums, it sounds like you folks hosting and administrating have done a good job researching and anticipating alternatives and future developments of the current platform, I guess the strategic concern is that forums as a community platform are increasingly just not all that popular with the younger crowd...


I'll chime in a bit more if another alternative comes to mind, for now I guess, maybe Reddit as an option?

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

Post by neptronix » Jul 04 2019 3:56pm

Hey deafcat, your thoughts are appreciated.

I agree that mobile only is basically opening the floodgate for the internet's least savvy people... no thanks!

Reddit as a site is unfortunately even less functional than facebook.. i don't think it would offer too much over what we have here. It has the same problem as facebook... IE.. how do you do a build thread? how do you permanently store info so that it can easily be accessed?

Reddit also has the growing censorship problem that facebook has, so i think it's fate is sort of dim over the long run - except for those who have the same beliefs as those who run it :roll:

I do have a platform in mind for this forum which was released last month. It is sort of like a hybrid of reddit and phpbb, i suppose. I'm in the investigation stage of figuring out a few things..
1) does it transition our content properly..
2) would it be easy to hack in some things we need..
3) and the final criteria would be... would our users accept it :)

..more on that later.

Speaking of social media sites, MeWe is turning out to be a very cool facebook alternative ( i've used it exclusively in lieu of facebook ) so far, and gab is in the middle of transitioning their system to a fediverse linked one, which should result in it being kind of a hybrid of twitter and facebook. It's very cool to see good alternatives to the big boys making waves.

I run a small ketogenic diet group on MeWe and the damn thing exploded in the last few days when facebook went down.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

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 rodr » Aug 26 2019 4:59pm

Fascinating topic, with great insights! No way you'd see that on FB. :)

I've been experimenting with phpBB myself, and it's inspiring to see how well ES has leveraged it. Thank you for all the hard work that's gone into this forum.
TheBeastie wrote:
Jun 02 2019 2:21am
... There are now so many ebikes around inner Melbourne it's ridiculous.
In fact, I can safely say there are more people on ebikes than I EVER thought could be possible, in Melbourne.
Hey I'll be visiting Melbourne for a couple of days next month. What would you say is a good place to test ride some e-bikes there?

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

Post by methods » Sep 16 2019 6:45pm

There is probably no greater divide than the gap between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, ... and other self-masturbation websites ...
and a good Public Forum focused around a common interest.

I think the Public Forum has probably opened more intellectual doors for me than any other source.

The key is the focal point. . .

it is not God
it is not Sex
it is not Drugs
it is not Self

It is something Other.

And... along the way it just happens magically. Time goes by ... and we become more or less valuable as humans.

-methods
Increasing battery voltage and controller current limit will result in a non linear experience

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

Post by neptronix » Sep 19 2019 8:45am

rodr wrote:
Aug 26 2019 4:59pm
Fascinating topic, with great insights! No way you'd see that on FB. :)

I've been experimenting with phpBB myself, and it's inspiring to see how well ES has leveraged it. Thank you for all the hard work that's gone into this forum.
Sorry for the belated response on this, but IMHO, i would not play with PhpBB today whatsoever. I haven't really checked this out in the last few months, but it seems like development is at a stall, and the plugin ecosystem is still really poor.

I have done a lot of custom work to make this phpbb installation what it is. The stock theme is full of mobile bugs and not-so-modern visual aspects.

People are moving on from this platform. And if there was a platform that offered significant advantages AND properly imported our data ( IE, i don't have to hack extensively on anyone's importer code ), i'd have moved us over 3 years ago.

..on that note..

Vanilla Forums is looking VERY GOOD these days. Version 3.2 was released this month, and it looks like they've got the bugs kicked out of the rich text editor. They appear to be making new releases at a pretty fast rate. I think the future of this site is on vanilla forums, but there are a lot of logistics issues involved in moving.
Efficiency is everything :bolt:

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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Whipper-snapper: ? on a lightweight BikeE Semi Recumbent

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