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What's It Gonna Take?
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2019-06-05, 14:55

I seem to recall alc mentioning it did die do to changes in Amazon's payout and such. There is still a donate button at the top of the forums. Not sure where it leads to, but it is there.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2019-06-05, 15:19

That just shows PayPal donations to me?

I think we're discussing different things here. Apple shut down App Store affiliate links a while back, I believe.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2019-06-05, 17:19

Pretty sure he meant the Amazon affiliate setup. That’s the only one we really had going because I had custom code to inject our ID into any links posted here, but yeah, none of us running the show live in a state where Amazon continued supporting due to tax law changes. So, it’s dead to us.

I can’t remember where the PayPal goes. I don’t think it’s my account. I’ll look into it.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2019-06-05, 17:31

Based on an old post I found from 2006, the current PayPal account belongs to alcimedes.
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PKIDelirium
Nobody bumps my lock
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Xenia, Ohio
 
2019-06-06, 03:41

Oof, now I REALLY wouldn't be able to donate financially for a XF or Invision license if Vanilla doesn't work out, because my iPhone SE that replaced my previous iPhone SE that got washed, just got washed... Irony.

Early '09 Mac mini (El Capitan), iPhone 7 (iOS 12.3), iPad Air 2 (iOS 12.3), Mid '10 MacBook Unibody (High Sierra), Mid '05 14" iBook G4 (Tiger)
Kings Island Site, Horribly Outdated Flickr
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Kraetos
Lovable Bastard
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2019-06-06, 09:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
At some point I would need to look at migrating the forums to something else. I honestly don't know what that is.
Tildes?

Every time I meander back here the thing that always kills me is just how archaic BBCode and flat-thread organization feels after a decade of having Reddit be my primary online time waster. But Reddit is terrible, both as software and as a platform, the good places on Reddit are now oases against low-effort (and often hateful) garbage that are just barely holding the line.

Deimos—an ex-Reddit employee—left and made Tildes. The software is open source, and Deimos is running one at Tildes.net. (I have tons of invites if you want in.)

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope

Last edited by Kraetos : 2019-06-06 at 09:36.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2019-06-06, 16:46

(Discourse?)

As for flat threads being archaic, I don't know about that. Twitter's threading is terrible but also simple. Reddit's is flexible, but doesn't have great usability.

I've recently grown to like Toot!'s subway line threading the most. It's mostly flat, but you can still follow who replies to whom.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2019-06-06, 18:42

FWIW, I'm postponing any WordPress/CMS installation until I can come up with a path forward to migrate the forums data. Mostly it's because nothing modern will work on the old tools and libraries we are currently running. That said, I'm actively experimenting a lot behind the scenes to get some kind of migration going.

On the migration subject, I've found we have some nasty corupt values in our database tables from the early versions of vBulletin that didn't weather the upgrades very well. UTF-8 and non-UTF-8 data mixing together leads to all kinds of failures when importing to other systems. I doubt it'll break many hearts, but any not-UTF-8-safe characters will be stripped away in the process of whatever we migrate to. This typically manifests today as the "special" non-ASCII characters looking all garbled in some very old posts. For example, where you might expect "™" instead you'd see "â¢". Those garbled bits will just disappear.

Speaking of cleaning data, how would we feel about deleting a bunch of inactive users? I did a quick search and found that we have almost 7000 users with 0 or 1 post who have not been seen logged in for the last 365 days. Our total user list is just over 11000. Maybe also delete all the banned accounts that are labeled as "spammer".

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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kieran
Tweeting @kierankelly
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York City
 
2019-06-06, 19:48

I think deleting the inactive users is smart.

If they only posted 1 time and then never came back, it's safe to say they won't be missing AN.

I like the flurry of activity all of a sudden and hope it sparks something.

Brad, thank you for taking the time to do this. I know it's a lot and not a lot of return for you. Like I said, once we know the best way to get some money raised, please let me know.
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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
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2019-06-06, 21:06

Just chiming in to say I'd be willing to join the cash throwing to move to another forum software if you wind up having to do that.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-06-06, 22:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Speaking of cleaning data, how would we feel about deleting a bunch of inactive users? I did a quick search and found that we have almost 7000 users with 0 or 1 post who have not been seen logged in for the last 365 days. Our total user list is just over 11000. Maybe also delete all the banned accounts that are labeled as "spammer".
It's almost like you've been reading my posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Also, would it do us any good to purge the membership list? I can think of a couple categories that should go:

- All of the banned users
- Any user with less than X posts who has not posted in the last 5 years.

Looking through the list, that's a lot! Not sure what that costs us in overhead or if it's worth the effort. But, you give me a tool, and I'll drop a nuke in there!


Quote:
Originally Posted by kieran View Post
Brad, thank you for taking the time to do this. I know it's a lot and not a lot of return for you. Like I said, once we know the best way to get some money raised, please let me know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capella View Post
Just chiming in to say I'd be willing to join the cash throwing to move to another forum software if you wind up having to do that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
*snip* some words and effort *snip*
I've said it before and I'll say it again:

There are folks hanging around who have been hanging around for 15 years, and we want the place to survive. Thanks to all who care, and to those making the effort to make it happen. Live or die, fight, claw, and snap, this is a piece of home, and we want to keep it!

Who let the creeper in?
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2019-06-07, 14:53

LET'S BURN THIS MOTHER TO THE GUH-ROUND!!!!

Or at least clean it up a smidge.


Also: new users have to write a 500 word essay about why they would like to join.

...

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
Captain Drew on Twitter
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PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
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2019-06-07, 15:13

Scorched earth often ends up happening when moving platforms away. Most that I’ve seen that left this format basically made everyone sign up again anyway, with the old forum data being in a read only format.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2019-06-07, 16:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
Also: new users have to write a 500 word essay about why they would like to join.

...
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-06-07, 18:48

Another thought:

Perhaps if some of you guys have contact information for some of the old hats, like Kickaha, Pscates, etc. you might consider dropping them a note and ask them to pop by and make a post. Might get some excitement brewing, and maybe they'll stick around for old time sake? Personally, those two guys I mentioned contributed a ton to the forum and I miss their logical thinking and smart comments. Not that others didn't, just that they stick in my mind. There were lots of others, like SpecMode, atomicbartbeans, chimney … the list goes on and on.

Yes, they're probably busy, but I think it's worth a shot.

Who let the creeper in?
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2019-06-07, 20:27

What was that sound? Oh, just the member count dropping by about 7000 entries.

/me lurks back into the server shadows
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-06-07, 21:58

Nice!

Thank you for doing that. Boy, does that clean up a load of crap!

Oh, and I think we could also include ALL members who have not posted in the last five years, regardless of post count.



So, rewrite that script.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
Also: new users have to write a 500 word essay about why they would like to join.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
At first, I was going to write, "What? Do you think any of these turds can even form a 50-word essay?" Then I thought about it and deleted my response, which I thought was maybe a little obtuse.

But, now I've been thinking about it for a few hours while lubing my brain and I have a different feeling.

Why the hell not? Maybe that's what sets our forum apart from the others. Maybe we can ask for something very similar to that. Maybe less words (250) and maybe there are beer-goggle judges who decide whether or not to let the bastards in? First post has to be at least 250 words, and some dickhead like me will fact check/plager-y check and then submit for votes by the standing members?

Hell, Scates could rattle off 500 words in ONE F-ING POST!!!

We want Applenova to be where the cool, smart kids hang out, right?

Seriously, why can't we? Why can't we ask that our new membership show a scruple or too before they prattle on about things?

Maybe I've had too many beers, or maybe my brain just switched on. Don't know. Is it worth discussing? Well, "back in the day" we had some pretty damned good conversations. We had smart folks contributing to smart discussions, and sometimes one of us was on the losing end. Have they all gone off to 50-character twit-snap-face B.S.? Are there still people out there looking for quality writing followed by quality conversation? Hell, even our most ardent, cranky members would drink beers together, methinks (if I ever land in Detroit you bet your damn britches I'm getting drunk with 709!)!

25-word posts do not demonstrate intellect. They demonstrate laziness. In the time it takes you to formulate your thoughts into a reasonable tweet, you could have said something smart!

Well, if I'm just being an idiot, it's okay to say so. I can take it! Because AN, that's why! And what we need right now is better, more informed, reasonable, critical discussion, not 50-character tweets! Here's the way I see it: AN is about smart, engaging conversation and we need to continue to foster that, even when it becomes heated. At least our members are sharp enough and intelligent enough to have a discussion—even when that discussion becomes an argument. At the end of the day, most of our membership can write 250 words. We should make that a prerequisite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
LET'S BURN THIS MOTHER TO THE GUH-ROUND!!!!...
If only you would have said, "LET'S MAKE THIS BITCH WALK THE PLANK!!!" I could have taken you seriously. But, you dropped out of character and that's bad form. So disappointed.


Who let the creeper in?

Last edited by kscherer : 2019-06-07 at 22:32.
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tomoe
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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2019-06-08, 22:34

A different forum I’m on migrated to Discourse about a year ago. It seems decent. It was definitely an upgrade over the Drupal software they were using.
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arteggio
There are some who call me… Timm?
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Within
 
2019-06-09, 11:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
There are folks hanging around who have been hanging around for 15 years, and we want the place to survive. Thanks to all who care, and to those making the effort to make it happen. Live or die, fight, claw, and snap, this is a piece of home, and we want to keep it!
Dang, you just got me to realize I've been on here about ten years now, and I've got artifacts in Minecraft that are seven years old!

This perspective helps me greatly appreciate AppleNova. I used to be on Brighthand and 1SRC, but they went downhill with the death of Palm. Neither MacRumors nor Reddit come anywhere close to AN in terms of community.

Re: Entry Essays:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Why the hell not? Maybe that's what sets our forum apart from the others. Maybe we can ask for something very similar to that. Maybe less words (250) and maybe there are beer-goggle judges who decide whether or not to let the bastards in? First post has to be at least 250 words, and some dickhead like me will fact check/plager-y check and then submit for votes by the standing members?
I also found this idea absurd and then amazing! If they can't get into college, why let them into AN! Let us be a walled garden of intelligence and wisdom.

Quote:
Here's the way I see it: AN is about smart, engaging conversation and we need to continue to foster that, even when it becomes heated. At least our members are sharp enough and intelligent enough to have a discussion—even when that discussion becomes an argument. At the end of the day, most of our membership can write 250 words. We should make that a prerequisite.
I say cheers to this, because have any of you been around MacRumors over the last couple years?? Tons of active users + little to contribute except cynicism = online hellscape. I see the aforementioned integrity as what sets AN apart from the rest of the internet.

But along with what has been mentioned, what if these essays also contributed to the blog that was being discussed earlier in the thread? "To join AppleNova, write about a unique way you use your Apple devices in your life" or something to that effect. We could get meaningful, unique content headlining the forum. Outsource AN's content to the people who want to get in! Not only would we old-timers be qualifying the new people, we'd probably learn a thing or two!

Furthermore, advertising that "your response/contribution may make it to the top of the website" incentivizes new people to join and offer up their experience for the greater good. Now they have not just a community and forum to share within, but a platform to be briefly broadcast upon, if not long-term if they wanted to write more content. This is similar to MacRumors, but with the community on the front instead of paid writers.

There could also be a different prompt for each month or quarter, which new members would have to respond to but which also invites current members to offer up something as well. Heck, these prompts can be cast as ballots by the people who have a genuine curiosity about how people go about XYZ or made ABC better for their workflows, etc. Look at this whole thread as a broad-enough prompt that got us all engaged and moving; this approach can be expanded and capitalized on.

Plus, if someone takes the time to write a submission essay for a forum, you know they want to be here.

And yes, expanding the platform this way would take extra "work," but look at all that we already take time to ponder and write. It's inspired and genuine, not forced or required. If the system is set up right, it becomes a windmill of incentive and inspiration on the parts of both new and old members alike, and it Just Works™. New members want to share their experience and "get in," some old members want to critique and qualify those applications, others want to write their response to the next upcoming prompt, etc.

AN could become a whirlwind of activity, interest, hype, and contribution, which I believe was the goal of this thread.



(This is my nearly-500-word entry for continuing-qualification!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
(if I ever land in Detroit you bet your damn britches I'm getting drunk with 709!)
What, I thought 709* was in the Pacific Northwest! This alters my worldview!

*It'll be nice to have a forum where users are auto-emphasized.

Last edited by arteggio : 2019-06-09 at 11:15.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2019-06-09, 13:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by arteggio View Post
I say cheers to this, because have any of you been around MacRumors over the last couple years?? Tons of active users + little to contribute except cynicism = online hellscape.
Yeah, most posters over there are… exhausting. Incorrigibly pro-Apple or incorrigibly anti-Apple, no place for nuance and just not fun.
  quote
spotcatbug
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Clayton, NC
 
2019-06-10, 10:03

Not to start a flame war or anything, but if this turns into some sort of elitist club... I'm out.

Yeah, spambots should get what they deserve - and I know that's work nuking those accounts - but regular people shouldn't need to write an essay to join in. That's ridiculous.

Think back fifteen years (holy crap, I'm old): if I had come across this place and had to write any length essay... well... nope, bye. It's different now - I get it - but it's not that different, hopefully. That's the point right? We want what we had/have.

Maybe I need to drink a bunch and think about it then?

Ugh.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-06-10, 10:50

Totally understand, Spotcatbug. We're just tossing ideas around, right now.

What we want is for AppleNova to be a great discussion forum. We have lost so many members to social media that the forum has grown stagnant, and the discussions have suffered as a result. We neither want to piss off existing members, nor let the site flush down the drain. So, we need ideas, and a method to implement those ideas.

Any suggestions?

And, yes, you're old!

Who let the creeper in?

Last edited by kscherer : 2019-06-10 at 11:01.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2019-06-10, 15:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by arteggio View Post
What, I thought 709 was in the Pacific Northwest! This alters my worldview!
Technically I'm a resident of every timezone because I never sleep.

Physically, aye, I'm in the lower peninsula. Though, these days I find myself more on the sunset side than sunrise. I have been known to catch both over the waters in a day.

So it goes.
  quote
Dr. Bobsky
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: A town that Germany forgot.
 
2019-06-10, 16:14

I'm probably one of the few active members that has more than 20 years in academia, and I think the essay writing idea is exclusionary and unproductive.

If this is about filtering off spammers, there are probably much better ways to do this: say prevent posts from being edited or links from being added by new members until 25 posts.

That anyone thinks this essay writing as an entry point is a great idea because it creates a "walled garden of intelligence and wisdom" is a sure sign that person has neither. There is simply no such thing. We don't live in an Ayn Rand novel.

Keep it simple for new members to find the welcoming community we've always been. I may have joined AI to read Apple rumors; bake in the flame wars of old, but I stuck around for the diversity of ideas, experiences, backgrounds (though we all still pretty much identify as white and male) that textured discussions outside of apple products. Let's keep our door open.
  quote
Dave
Ninja Editor
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
2019-06-10, 16:26

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
LET'S BURN THIS MOTHER TO THE GUH-ROUND!!!!

Or at least clean it up a smidge.


Also: new users have to write a 500 word essay about why they would like to join.

...
I could probably write a much longer essay about why I'm frustrated with what I perceive as Apple's hardware direction, but I've already joined so thbptttttttt

When I was a kid, people who did wrong were punished, restricted, and forbidden. Now, when someone does wrong, all of the rest of us are punished, restricted, and forbidden... and the one who did the wrong is counselled and "understood" and fed ice cream.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2019-06-10, 17:44

FWIW, I hope my terse meme-y image-only reply to the suggestion of requiring introductory essays was read with the implied layer of sarcasm.

I do not want to gate new users that much.

Another idea to borrow from some other forums, though, would be to require an introduction post in a (probably new) forum before replying everywhere is unlocked. No hard limit. Just "say hello" and move on. That would be much a lower barrier, and it's a start at weeding out some of the bots and spammers who can currently post anywhere from the start.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2019-06-10, 18:15

I never thought the written requirement was a serious thought... shame on you who did. That's not us, in fact it's anti-us.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-06-10, 22:44

Alright, let's go with Brad's idea. We can have a thread that all new members are directed to for hello purposes. I would also suggest Bruce's idea of restricting links and edits to those with 25 or more posts (earlier I had suggested 100, but 25 is a good round-ish number.

The combination of these two ideas should virtually eliminate the squirrels.

Who let the creeper in?
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2019-06-11, 00:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
FWIW, I hope my terse meme-y image-only reply to the suggestion of requiring introductory essays was read with the implied layer of sarcasm.
I fail to see the sarcasm in “I’m OK with this”. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Fahrenheit
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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2019-06-11, 07:24

I came for pscates photoshopping.

I think we have to accept that Applenova and this type of forum flourished at the exact right moment, where a) apple was doing exciting things, b) there wasn't a reddit or a facebook or a twitter, and c) there was a critical mass of people coming from apple insider.

Its very difficult to inorganically create that kind of demand, and I guess the (lets say) 100 members who contributed 90% of the content (Brad please correct this) have moved on.

And y'all talking about how to raise the bar on new members?!!
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