Update on the final Site:

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default Update on the final Site:

Post by melodiccolor on Mon May 05, 2008 3:28 pm

Here is a summary of where we started, where we are now, and what we need to do next.

Right now, things seem messy and disorganized, but there actually is a clear vision of where we want to go, what we want this site to become. Justin and I originally conceived this, and INFP joined in early in the process.

Reb. Suggested a goal statement and actually provided a pretty good one, so I am going to use it:
“free and open communication; the least moderation and interference that we can achieve and still maintain a relatively peaceful environment; nurturing of creative impulses and self growth...'something like this, mebbe...i would add 'strangling of assholes' but someone might want to apply it to me....lol!”
Well, maybe not the strangling of assholes part; but not tolerating hostility towards other members…

On finding a Host Site Justin had some clear requirements:
“- The ability to configure, run, change, back-up, etc the forum software the way we want it. Basically, our host provides us space on their servers, and allows the forum software (probably phpbb) to run. We configure, we choose add-ons & features, we control what the forum looks like. Our content and activities need to remain legal of course, but aside from that we choose what goes on.

- We need full access to at least all the data & configuration files associated with our forum. Part of the reason for that is local backup. Another reason would be to test forum software upgrades/add-ons offline before implementing them online. But we also need access to those files if, for whatever reason, we need to move to a new host someday. I'm sick to death of losing threads, and want that to stop.

- Reliable servers, with some form of technical support staff available to us. No host can promise to be running 24/7 without any glitches, but they should have a good track record. They also need to be able to provide adequate bandwidth for us, but sadly I've no idea what that will be. At a guess, I would expect that even an incredibly active forum would only have modest bandwidth requirements, so hopefully that won't be a problem.

- The ability to add other associated features, such as a web site, that we control. We may decide a web site should be hosted elsewhere, since that way the chances of both the forum and the web site being down at the same time are less, but still, it would be nice to have the ability to expand if we wanted to.

- Reasonable costs, preferably with a sliding scale based on storage needs &/or bandwidth requirements. That way, our costs will be small as long as we're small. They'll increase as we grow of course, but hopefully our ability to pay will increase as well. Of course, free is great too, but "free" usually comes at a cost of some kind.

- The ability to purchase a domain name at some point for a reasonable fee. Our host doesn't have to do that for us necessarily, but they should allow us to do it ourselves if they don't offer it as a service.

- This shouldn't be a problem, but we will want to be able to freely copy & update the board's data & configuration files without shutting the board down. A momentary lock on operation is fine, but it would be nice to avoid a full shut down for such things.”

To which Strawberry Life added this:
“Justin, you summed it up quite well... There may be more things when we think of them, but host stability & backup ability & ability to move easily further on if needed/desired seem quite imoportant to me too...

There are sites online reviewing webhosts & uptime & such too...

I read it might be a good idea to buy the domain name from someone other than the webhost.. (Some webhosts had turned iffy on some people in the past... ie if a domain name proved really popular, they refused to sell it again the next year or so, or took down a site inbetween or such.. So it's best to not go for the cheapest, or 'indefinite space' (which usually isn't, and may mean overload of servers & buying new servers & downtime or crashes), but for someone reputable who has been around for a while..)

Problems may arise when a host changes location (& the new one may be worse, wiring- or cooling-wise) or many new servers are bought, or there are too little servers... So it would be good to learn about a particular host from host reviews & what their plans are etc.”
Nuckifutz found this possible candidate: “ Hostgator looks like it may have all of those features.”

And Logan found a good site for researching other host candidates:
“This website offers a pretty complete list of Forum & Message Board Hosting Services. This looks like it might be a good place to begin to search for a message board that fits the criteria that Justin was talking about.

http://thinkofit.com/webconf/hostsites.htm”

One thing we need to decide on quickly is the rules and regulations as we already have a temporary forum up and running (OK, I did jump the gun there, but I felt it was needed.)

I am inclined with going with Justin’s idea of minimal rules and more of a behavioral and rights guideline, or as he calls it a constitution. But, we need to decide if the group is willing to participate in resolving problems as they come up, or would they prefer a team of moderators to deal with it? I think we need to put that question to a vote. Here is what he suggested:
“I woke up thinking about this, and I think what I'm looking for is working under a "constitution" and settling serious disputes by a "town meeting" kind of setup. I think it's technically possible to set up a section of the forum where only mods/admins can start threads but members can post, and that could become the "town meeting" part of the equation. That way threads (meetings) would only get started there when a consensus of people who felt an issue justified it, but once the "meeting" was started all members could publicly state their opinion. It could also serve as the place for votes (polls), if and when such things became necessary. Not a true democracy of course, but it approaches it, and such setups have worked well in the real world as long as the group was below a certain size, which I expect we always will be.

These are all just ideas obviously enough. I'm not really looking for a "no boundaries" situation, just one where "guiding principles" rather than "laws" are being enforced in order to allow for as much human "justice & fair play" as we can achieve. I'm not looking for "lawlessness" - what I want is the leeway for human compassion to temper judgments & decisions. How well it works depends on us, and how well we make it work, but in my opinion that's always the case. Law can't correct for antisocial desires/unhappiness shared by a large percentage of any group. At that point the only solution is brutal techniques like fascism, and I want no part of such things here.

So if people like the idea, I think the next step is to start working on our "constitution". To draw up a set of behavioral guidelines for the forum. Something that emphasizes respect & compassion between members while allowing for individual differences. Something which makes it clear that differences of opinion are fine, but fights about who's right and who's wrong are damaging and pointless. Something that allows people to say that certain things bother them, but encourages them to do so in a way that is least likely to upset or offend others.

Trolls & troublemakers are a different matter entirely. If someone's purpose here is to cause trouble, then banning them makes sense, and I expect the group will be happy to vote for their expulsion.”

To which I pointed out that moderators would need to take some action to prevent further damage until the group could vote on the issue.

Reb had a different take on it, preferring more clear cut rules to avoid confusion, but seemed willing to give Justin’s ideas a try. Given the experiences both he and I have gone through with less than ideal behavior of others, this is taking a pretty good leap of faith for both of us. But, I do have experiences of Justin’s unconventional way of seeing and doing things working well.

See the “Rules and Regulations” thread for all the ideas. We need to set out guidelines and start the constitution if that is the way we want to go, and if not, what does the group want to see? The rules and reg. samples Reb. posted in “Other Forums” has some good ideas for stating desired behaviors and general guidelines. If I don’t see much input on this issue, I will write up something myself, but I would rather not be a group of one on this important issue.

Last, but not least, we have yet to decide on a name. Again, I would like more group participation in this. We have a number of good ideas, and some tongue in cheek ones too. Some, we will use for the individual forums. Still, I would like to see a few more ideas and then we can put it to a vote.
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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by Logan (Earthmaiden) on Mon May 05, 2008 3:51 pm

.


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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by melodiccolor on Mon May 05, 2008 3:58 pm

Well, Logan, looks like you're getting more than you bargained for. Because, in a very real way, we are setting up a kind of virtual town (yes I'm aware of the irony of that Laughing ). Msg. boards and ordinary forums keep crashing and burning around us. So we are trying to do something very different from the norm.
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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by Logan (Earthmaiden) on Mon May 05, 2008 4:00 pm

.


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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by melodiccolor on Mon May 05, 2008 4:02 pm

OoO (to paraphrase Strawberry); this is getting kinky.

We don't have any so by all means, bring your own. whee!
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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by Logan (Earthmaiden) on Mon May 05, 2008 4:07 pm

.


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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by melodiccolor on Mon May 05, 2008 4:13 pm

Laughing OK, now we're armed. Troublemakers beware!
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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by Logan (Earthmaiden) on Mon May 05, 2008 4:24 pm

.


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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by melodiccolor on Mon May 05, 2008 4:42 pm

Perfect! Laughing
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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by Nucky on Mon May 05, 2008 5:40 pm

melodiccolor wrote:Laughing OK, now we're armed. Troublemakers beware!


:7.gif: :8.gif: :22.gif: :24.gif: :3.gif2:


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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by melodiccolor on Mon May 05, 2008 6:17 pm

Nucky, I think Reb may fall in love with you over this one! laughing

Hmmm....this was supposed to be a gentle loving forum...... whee!
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default Re: Update on the final Site:

Post by melodiccolor on Mon May 05, 2008 6:19 pm

I'm bringing this over here from another thread, as it is good information on our search for a host.

BlueTopaz wrote:Here is something I found on my forum that you might be able to use. There are a bunch of other tools available I think. There is a link to the home page on top I do believe.

http://hosting-metrics.network-tools.com/

Thanks Blue, this will be useful. Justin, take a look.
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