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Moving Campbell County...

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Moving Campbell County...

Post by Eugene on 11th July 2013, 3:09 am

Hello, everyone! Long time no speak. Tongue out

I haven't been around very much, but I haven't been sitting on my hands. In fact, I want to tell you about what Bren and I have been up to.

Right now, our lovely little forum is currently hosted by Forumotion - a free service. It works fairly well but it has many limitations that drive us nuts. We also can't customize it very easily. All of the custom stuff requires lots of time to create and update since it's all manually managed through code. This causes us to often focus too much on the technical side of things and less on the community activities.

One idea that we have been touting ever since the days of the Electric Palace is to have our own board that we have complete control over. Right now, I have some server space on which we can install our own copy of phpBB to host Campbell County. And we are willing to spend the money for our domain name. Bren and I have been testing this very thing in recent weeks. We want to see how well it would work for us, and so far it looks very promising!

But there is one serious drawback that accompanies all the great things about this plan...

The most frustrating and saddening restriction of Forumotion is that we cannot export any of the forums, topics, and posts for us to import into our own board. This means that if we move, we will have to start fresh. We won't have any of our old topics around. To soften the blow, we would keep this account open for reference and posterity, similar to the way we keep the Electric Palace around as an archive.

Besides that fact, there aren't any other major drawbacks. We are seriously considering this plan and are anxious for your feedback! Below I have two lists; one for pros, the other for cons. (Feel free to point out more pros and cons.) Read through them and please let us know what you think about this whole endeavor!! We need your thoughts and questions before we decide to go through with this move. It is our community, afterall. We all get to make this decision together.

If you need more information or have specific questions about the move, then just ask. I will be happy to answer your questions!

Pros:


  • Our own server and phpBB install
  • No ads from third-parties
  • Full control over the board and code
  • Ability to add new functions like an automated shop
  • Unlimited space to upload attachments
  • No more restrictions imposed by Forumotion
  • Unlimited space in PM boxes
  • More ways for people to manage seashells (money)


Cons:


  • We can't transfer over our current/old posts
  • Loose integrated chat (for a bit... we'll be able to add it back in eventually)
  • We would have to maintain the server ourselves (not a big deal)
  • All the work we've put into this place won't move with us



Last edited by Eugene on 11th July 2013, 2:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added two pros)



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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by NarniaQA Guy on 11th July 2013, 9:34 am

I think that it would be great to leave the forumotion hosting. I for one am all for it. Very Happy
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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Thor's Hammer on 11th July 2013, 11:09 am

Cool I can see why you would be limited since I have tried to work with forum motion before. Of course I wouldn't like to start afresh.



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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by capeng on 11th July 2013, 11:10 am

Hey guys.  Long time, no see.  Great to be back.  I'm not sure about all this...  I guess it would work, but it wouldn't be my first course of action.
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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by AudPod on 11th July 2013, 11:19 am

I don't know about all of it. I haven't been here very long, but I don't see any problems with the board now. I think a new board would be cool and all, but losing everything on this one would be a bit difficult.




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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Thor's Hammer on 11th July 2013, 11:32 am

Yeah but it is harder to work and tweak things like the like button.



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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Sko on 11th July 2013, 12:56 pm

capeng wrote:...it wouldn't be my first course of action.

Yeah, this isn't exactly a spur-of-the-moment decision, we've been thinking about it a while and we think it may be worth doing.


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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by capeng on 11th July 2013, 1:15 pm

Yeah.  I hear ya.  I think it would be fine if everyone really got on that new website and made it feel like home real quick.  Some of those new websites have this sickening empty feeling to them.  That's all.
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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Eugene on 11th July 2013, 2:56 pm

AudPod wrote:I don't know about all of it. I haven't been here very long, but I don't see any problems with the board now. I think a new board would be cool and all, but losing everything on this one would be a bit difficult.
First, I'd like to say hi! It's good to meet you, AudPod.

The new board would be very similar to this one. We're not really losing anything, just leaving it on this board (as an archive for people to read, posting will be disabled) and creating a new board from scratch. Yes, it will be an odd transition, but eventually a new board would feel like home.

Here's an example of a problem that has recently popped up. Forumotion changed the editor for posts. It looks great and it works way better than it did before the update. However, the new one has a limit to how many lines of text we can enter. Us admins use topics in the admin forum as records to keep track of various things. These records have grown quite long now and with the new restriction, it is not possible for us to add more information. It is quite frustrating!

Another problem is that if someone wants to transfer seashells to someone else, that transfer has to be done by an admin. While that isn't too big of a deal, it does add to the list of things us admins have to do. On the new board, you can transfer seashells without the middle-person.

Sko wrote:
capeng wrote:...it wouldn't be my first course of action.

Yeah, this isn't exactly a spur-of-the-moment decision, we've been thinking about it a while and we think it may be worth doing.
Yes, it is important to note that this is not a new idea. We've been thinking of it for a long time. It's just that now we actually have gone ahead and seriously looked at it.

@capeng: What would be your first course of action?

capeng wrote:Yeah.  I hear ya.  I think it would be fine if everyone really got on that new website and made it feel like home real quick.  Some of those new websites have this sickening empty feeling to them.  That's all.
I hear ya too. I know that we have an awesome community that can fill up the new website fast! Very Happy

Now, the move doesn't have to be right away. We could have a "beta" period where we will invite people to try the new board before we commit to the move. It's really up to you all!
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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by AudPod on 11th July 2013, 3:23 pm

That sounds good to me. And nice to meet you too! Smile




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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by sing 4 joy on 11th July 2013, 11:25 pm

I would go. It wouldn't be sad for me since I am new! :-)
One question:  Would you start my account over there, or would I have to go over and start a whole new account?
Thanks!


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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Bren on 12th July 2013, 12:31 pm

You'd have to reregister. Yes




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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Agent 86 on 12th July 2013, 2:26 pm

Well what we'd have to do is that we'd have to start new forums and stuff, and also I kinda like the scoring of posts maybe we could figure out a way to put that in by code...? And the ads too, we could try to do it. Otherwise i'm pretty fine with the move.


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for his name’s sake.
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through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Renae on 12th July 2013, 5:59 pm

WOW. Eugene, this sounds very well thought out. I am all for it! I think a new start would be great and would help out with the organization. 

*jumps in moving van* Sooo...when we goin'? Laughing JK



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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Amarinda on 12th July 2013, 6:42 pm

I guess that would be cool but like how different will it be and how long will there be no chat?




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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by sing 4 joy on 12th July 2013, 6:45 pm

Bren wrote:You'd have to reregister. Yes

 OK, it is no big deal, I just had to wait a couple days after I registered last time....


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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Eugene on 12th July 2013, 10:03 pm

Agent 86 wrote:Well what we'd have to do is that we'd have to start new forums and stuff, and also I kinda like the scoring of posts maybe we could figure out a way to put that in by code...? And the ads too, we could try to do it. Otherwise i'm pretty fine with the move.
I'm not sure we could alter the post counts to add posts from here without some difficulty. Yes, it's possible, but the post count system would get a little messed up. Also it would be kinda weird to look at someone's profile and see the post count at a couple thousand posts, but when you actually start looking though their post history, there are only a couple hundred. Perhaps we could add a field to each user's profile that shows their post count from this board? Or maybe you or someone else has another idea for this?

Ads... I'll assume that you are referring to the ads that we put in the right sidebar. I was thinking of removing sidebars from the design all together, but if we want to keep things like the ad system, then we can keep the sidebars too. But maybe we'll just keep one sidebar and limit the amount of things in it. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas about this?

This also brings up a few questions. What features would you like to keep? What do you want to get rid of? What new features or changes would you like to see? Think 

Renae wrote:WOW. Eugene, this sounds very well thought out. I am all for it! I think a new start would be great and would help out with the organization. 

*jumps in moving van* Sooo...when we goin'? Laughing JK
Haha... Tongue out  Not sure what the date would be, but we probably won't have everything set-up until the end of July. And that's if we do decide to go ahead with the move. (Although it looks like we will be!)

Amarinda wrote:I guess that would be cool but like how different will it be and how long will there be no chat?
It will be as different as we want it to be. Which is a good thing! Smile I'm working on developing a new style (design for the board) that removes a lot of the clutter, but keeps a familiar layout. It will include a toolbar (that will actually be useful) and may or may not have a sidebar or two. The actual message board functions and the forums that we set up will be exactly the same.

As for the chat, we can have one set-up right away. It won't work the way I'd like it to, but it can be there until I am able to set-up the permanent chat. Smile

sing 4 joy wrote:
Bren wrote:You'd have to reregister. Yes
OK, it is no big deal, I just had to wait a couple days after I registered last time....
Bren is correct, you'd have to re-register. I'm looking into editing the registration date for each person that re-registers so that it will reflect the date you actually joined the community on this board, and not the new one. If that makes sense... Smile And we may change the way that registrations are handled since we'll have more control over that process.


I'd like to point out another frustration that I have with Forumotion I was reminded of earlier. Right now, if you were to log onto Campbell County and see that there were new posts, then leave and come back a few hours later, all the topics that were marked as unread during the first visited would now be marked as read. Which isn't a very useful "feature"...
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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Sunshine on 13th July 2013, 12:55 pm

It sounds like you guys have put a lot of thought into this.  It would be a little hard to switch, with old topics, pms, and all, but I know it would definitely help especially you admins!

I'm game for it!  happy dance  It might be nice to do a "trial run" on the new forum, before we completely switch.

I do have a few questions/comments:

  • Will bb (how many b's are there?) codes (for smilies and such) stay the same?  -Just a small detail.

  • Will blogs remain?  If so, will they differ, or be the same?

  • If you could find a way to edit the join dates, I'd appreciate being able to see my original join date.

  • At one point, I do appreciate the right-hand sidebar, both for the ads (if they're kept up-to-date), and for the recent topics list.  At one point, with the recent topics list, people don't see other recent topics, if they aren't on the list, but at another point, it does help me keep up to date with what's going on.
    If we switch the forum, maybe it would be good to try going without the list at first, since all topics will be new anyway, and we won't have to file our way through the old ones.

  • I wouldn't mind if the post counts started over... simply because that would give me a better chance of beating Blitz to the 1000 post mark... but that's kind of selfish, so no more said on my part.  Whistle

  • capeng, I know what you mean about new, empty forums.  I'd be willing to try and get on a lot, to recreate some of the old threads, as well create some new threads (although, depending on how soon this get's started, I'm going to be gone all of this next week).

  • And as a last note: @Bren: maybe TKD would be willing to get on to help things get started..  happy dance  I shall talk to her about it, if this idea proceeds to reality.


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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by godisawesomeness99 on 13th July 2013, 2:45 pm

well I guess it would be okay it we moved Very Happy


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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Thor's Hammer on 13th July 2013, 4:26 pm

Only I wouldn't like to restart with the post count. I would have a hey day trying to keep up with all the people who don't want me to be top poster. Ahem...



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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Sko on 13th July 2013, 4:30 pm

Sunshine wrote:Will bb (how many b's are there?) codes (for smilies and such) stay the same?  -Just a small detail.

Yes, BB code won't change. Smile

Sunshine wrote:Will blogs remain?  If so, will they differ, or be the same?

I expect blogs to remain, but I'm not sure. Eugene, do you know?

Sunshine wrote:If you could find a way to edit the join dates, I'd appreciate being able to see my original join date.

This is probably impossible. I suppose the SQL database could be edited, but I wouldn't risk it.

Sunshine wrote:At one point, I do appreciate the right-hand sidebar, both for the ads (if they're kept up-to-date), and for the recent topics list.  At one point, with the recent topics list, people don't see other recent topics, if they aren't on the list, but at another point, it does help me keep up to date with what's going on.
If we switch the forum, maybe it would be good to try going without the list at first, since all topics will be new anyway, and we won't have to file our way through the old ones.

Ads would be nice, I think. Totally doable, too.

Sunshine wrote:I wouldn't mind if the post counts started over... simply because that would give me a better chance of beating Blitz to the 1000 post mark... but that's kind of selfish, so no more said on my part.  Whistle

On the other hand, an even playing field would be great for all our new members...

Sunshine wrote:capeng, I know what you mean about new, empty forums.  I'd be willing to try and get on a lot, to recreate some of the old threads, as well create some new threads (although, depending on how soon this get's started, I'm going to be gone all of this next week).

I'll gladly help with that, too. Gotta re-earn seashells somehow... Wink


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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Thor's Hammer on 13th July 2013, 5:33 pm

Excuse me but I am a relatively new member. I mean most of the people here are at the least one month or well more than me.



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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Jesusfreak97 on 13th July 2013, 6:02 pm

Eugene, I think its A great Idea to move. And Finished reading the comments, It may take a lot of work, but I'm all for it too. :)If you guys need help, Just ask kk Smile


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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by godisawesomeness99 on 13th July 2013, 7:35 pm

Thor's Hammer wrote:Excuse me but I am a relatively new member. I mean most of the people here are at the least one month or well more than me.
Well you've been here 1 week longer than me


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Re: Moving Campbell County...

Post by Thor's Hammer on 14th July 2013, 1:35 pm

And I worked myself to death trying to become what I am now. And Sunshine you were forever before me. Wink



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Re: Moving Campbell County...

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