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Loss of Valuable Contributors
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Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/28/2012 03:23:39 MDT Print View

It was a bad idea for us to lock it, and it's probably a bad idea for BPL to have locked this one. The longer it goes, the more damage it does.

Very much +1

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/28/2012 07:21:49 MDT Print View

Well, this can also effect some of the "silent majority" of members and lifers by offering a site more suited to the exchange of new ideas rather than rehashing gear list after gear list... People that in recent times have been driven off by critical arguments about the site, not about the SUBJECT of the site. People with large ammounts of experience that they can share, but just don't like reading through so many posts from uninformed newbees and others that have not seen/embraced the lite.

Which is more important? One good post from an experienced person with 20 years of experience, OR, 20 posts from a person with only one year of experience? One thoughtfull post per day, on subject, pushing the boundries of what can be done? Or, a hundred posts by people who ask which stove is best, which jacket is good enough, which water bottle should they use?

Quality or quantitity? Develop new or use the old?

Where in todays market, can Jyan and this site find a viable growth market. Like any business, this is difficult to determine and amounts to predicting the future for the site, that's business. The forums were an outgrowth of the magazine. The magazine was always at the cutting edge of lightweight packing. I dislike many of the reasons for implementing the current changes. There is a good side, too.

Paul Wozniak
(PaulW)

Locale: Midwest
Loss of valuable contributors on 10/28/2012 07:45:37 MDT Print View

".... it's probably a bad idea for BPL to have locked this one. The longer it goes, the more damage it does."

I respectfully disagree. The spam was so overwhelming the site was near dead - many here expressed exactly that sentiment. So BPL selected the simplest temporary fix and took care of their paying customers first. Imagine the b***ing if we still had to wade through all that garbage we were getting.

Ken - my WAG may have been low by a factor of 3, but there are costs. This site is actually pretty decent and has the appearance of being well-funded. I think revenues are actually pretty limited and there's a lot here for the money. Let's say gross revenues of around $75k. And now a long-term, and I suspect expensive, fix will be necessary. It's reasonable to take some time to explore the options - you don't want to have to fix it twice. Not with limited resources. Setting aside all the other complaints - I'm just saying BPL was a victim here, not the bad guy. I can cut them a little slack as they wade through a very complicated problem.

Anyway, a better temporary solution appears on the way. Step one in about two weeks, step 2 - who knows? Here's hoping. And no offense to anyone ... just my point of view.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: BPL Forum Progress on 10/28/2012 08:10:56 MDT Print View

Thanks Roger. See RJ's post here.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=69824&skip_to_post=596986#596986

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: BPL Forum Progress on 10/28/2012 08:44:43 MDT Print View

"Yes, the current Forum SW is a handicap, but it holds the Forum Archive. Do we ant to lose that? Our first guess is No Way"

portlandhikers.org made a transition that killed the archives

after a couple years it makes no difference

maybe leave backpackinglight.com as is for a few years but don't allow any new posts

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: BPL Forum Progress on 10/28/2012 08:54:01 MDT Print View

They moved stuff from the old forum to this one when they made the first software change.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re Loss of Valuable Contributors on 10/28/2012 08:57:33 MDT Print View

"It was a bad idea for us to lock it, and it's probably a bad idea for BPL to have locked this one. The longer it goes, the more damage it does"

I have to agree with Dena - internet people are so fickle and short attention span - if people drift away it's hard to get them back

If you require a nominal fee to sign up and post, then at least all the currently registered people that aren't members will be able to post again which is good.

A lot of new people won't sign up if they have to pay because no one wants to give out financial information. It's like there will be a constant headwind slowing future growth.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: BPL Forum Progress on 10/28/2012 09:54:27 MDT Print View

I believe that RJ was refering to the "solid" content more than past postings. No, it won't be permanently lost, as I am sure Ryan and others are well aware. Most data representations can be translated to a different format (even pictures are held as encrypted groups of pixel locations and color values, ie numbers.)

Doing it now without further thought into the upgrade will cost money. Something that RJ will not be willing to spend out of pocket (especially if he also needs to work elsewhere for a living.) Chosing which sw to use will dictate what format to migrate the data to. Choosing now, as part of a "knee-jerk" response to a spam problem would be a BIG mistake. He had a plan to let the forum slide for as long as 5 years to pay back what the store had incurred in debt...to buy out the other partner(s)...to continue the site at all is a major task. Upgrades will be the minimum necessary because spending foolishly is not the mark of a good manager.

Some upgrades are simply not worth it. Rule of thumb says when you need a 10% overhaul of code, you simply skip it and rebuild it from the ground up. This takes TIME. Perhaps a year, before such measures can be fully implemented and in place...before it is in full "maintenence mode" so to speak. But that is not saying what the future will bring. No, RJ is correct. He cannot have stuff off line for that time...may as well be permanent. The existing site will simply die if he did nothing. Again, loosing the data, permanently.

"Security," is now equally important as "makinging it work." Not something that was as widely understood when these forums were first implemented. They were never designed for security. Spammers had their field day. Through hard work they were stopped. But, it was by making the program do things it could do already, but in a different way than was intended. Example: Login registration. They cannot change the way it works, but, they can just set a flag that says EVERYBODY must be a paying member...the result is no new members can post without paying to become a member, not something a spammer is willing to do.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: embarresed on 10/28/2012 22:05:19 MDT Print View

Dan,

If you're not part of the solution you are part of the problem!

The substantive posts of many of these BPL guests is an important part of what was and still could be good about BPL.

Party On,

Newton