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Poll

Merge together Early Aircraft Projects and Postwar Aircraft Projects?

No! Keep them separate!
3 (33.3%)
Not bothered either way
2 (22.2%)
Yes! Its a good idea!
4 (44.4%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Voting closed: February 16, 2019, 11:57:00 am

Author Topic: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum 2nd March....  (Read 8920 times)

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2017, 06:36:57 am »
Quote
i have not a Facebook account !


I don't like Facebook. I'd love to keep the forum as it is.
I agree no social media integration, keep as is.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

Charles W. Eliot

Offline sferrin

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2017, 06:47:24 am »
Imagine the worst side of a political thread times 50.  That's what bringing Facebook, Tumblr, and the Twitterati would probably resemble. Yuck.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline jstar

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2017, 06:54:50 am »
If it's not broke, don't fix it.

And please, do not bring Facebook into this.

Offline Hood

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2017, 07:57:17 am »
I share everyone else's concerns with Facebook and social media in general.

Facebook has a fair number of groups on secret projects and other similar aeronautical topics, The Greatest Planes that Never Were being just one of the larger ones.
That group is mainly a rehash of Luft 46 topics, 3D art, TSR.2, Avro Canada and other 'populist' never-were topics. I suspect the rest are much the same. We would have to wary of large image dumps of stuff we've already seen and uninformed ranting/dreaming. It was only 7-8 years ago that this forum got in hot water over copyright issues etc. I would be careful of not getting into the same predicament if that kind of image dumping did occur.

Of course the flipside argument presented is, we can share our topics easier. True, but it would be idealistic to think that in itself would improve the quality of the some of the Facebook groups' material (it hasn't so far). As for Twitter, who writes concise enough posts for that medium anyway?

I don't see why people can't make a proper account here if they are interested to join. Using a Facebook, Gmail or Twitter login just seems lazy to me (also forum avatar anonymity could be a blessing). It seems to be a growing trend but I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Offline circle-5

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2017, 10:14:35 am »
I agree with staying as far away from "social media" as possible.  It feels not only unnecessary, but detrimental and completely at odds with all that is good and wholesome about SPF!  Like putting arsenic on apple pie.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2017, 10:55:50 am »
Sferrin: I hate Photobucket as much as you hate it. They are really a bunch of arses.

I second the anti-social media league. I will never, ever have a twitter account.

And Pinterest is really one hell of an annoyance, notably for Google searches. It is worse than herpes.
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2017, 12:38:30 pm »
I think people are misunderstanding things.

All existing usernames and passwords will be preserved, noone is forced to use a social media logon, and you will still be able to create a forum-only account in future. This is just a new option when people sign up to the forum. It would allow new users to sign up for forum access without needing to create a separate account for this forum.

I really don't see what the issue with that is - they still have to be approved the same as if they created a standalone account - and how does the method of logon affect the conduct of the user in any way? I personally often use my Google account to log onto 3rd party websites - if they want me to create a new user name and password I think twice if I can be bothered. The days of creating a hundred different passwords are going - standardising on a few logon systems (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID, whatever suits you) makes more sense.

The other piece of functionality would allow forum users to easily share a topic they like on their Facebook or Twitter page by hitting a button in the post or topic called "Share".

Thousands of people interested in the topics of the forum are posting in Facebook groups. Many of them don't know this place exists.

Right now, many forum users are downloading pics from here, posting them (without attribution) in these groups, and the forum gets no credit or referrals. If users share a topic link instead, it could help drive new users here, and without new users, the forum dies, and the Groundhog Day of Facebook groups endlessly reposting the same pictures every month is all that is left of this topic.

Having said that, these are OPTIONAL features. I don't have to implement them if there is no value.

I think the only way to understand the changes will be to see them - so once the new forum is up and running, users will be able to visit and see it and hopefully appreciate it is an improvement, before any decision to cut over.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 12:40:56 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline steelpillow

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2017, 02:27:27 pm »
they still have to be approved the same as if they created a standalone account
...
The other piece of functionality would allow forum users to easily share a topic they like on their Facebook or Twitter page by hitting a button in the post or topic called "Share".

Thank you for the clarification, Paul. That allays a lot of my fears. I don't have to use the single sign-on or Share features if I don't want to.

Of course, they will draw more of us to your site and give you proportionately more work to do keeping us in order. But I am sure you already realise that.
Cheers.

Offline NeilChapman

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2017, 06:48:28 pm »
I think people are misunderstanding things.

All existing usernames and passwords will be preserved, noone is forced to use a social media logon, and you will still be able to create a forum-only account in future. This is just a new option when people sign up to the forum. It would allow new users to sign up for forum access without needing to create a separate account for this forum.

The concern I'm reading is that allowing the google/facebook/etc account integration will allow those systems to datamine SP. That datamining will "capture" both the users of those account management systems and contributors that do not use those systems.  For some, that's a concern.

I would think that crawlers would have picked through all this data already though.  I've found some of my own posts on SP through google searches.


I really don't see what the issue with that is - they still have to be approved the same as if they created a standalone account - and how does the method of logon affect the conduct of the user in any way? I personally often use my Google account to log onto 3rd party websites - if they want me to create a new user name and password I think twice if I can be bothered. The days of creating a hundred different passwords are going - standardising on a few logon systems (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID, whatever suits you) makes more sense.

The other piece of functionality would allow forum users to easily share a topic they like on their Facebook or Twitter page by hitting a button in the post or topic called "Share".

Thousands of people interested in the topics of the forum are posting in Facebook groups. Many of them don't know this place exists.

Right now, many forum users are downloading pics from here, posting them (without attribution) in these groups, and the forum gets no credit or referrals. If users share a topic link instead, it could help drive new users here, and without new users, the forum dies, and the Groundhog Day of Facebook groups endlessly reposting the same pictures every month is all that is left of this topic.


Great points


Having said that, these are OPTIONAL features. I don't have to implement them if there is no value.

I think the only way to understand the changes will be to see them - so once the new forum is up and running, users will be able to visit and see it and hopefully appreciate it is an improvement, before any decision to cut over.

If it's easier, operationally, to manage this wonderful resource using this new system then I'll look forward to whatever solution you implement.  Remind us to double your bonus next year.   ;)

---

Are there any reference sites out there that one might visit if they're so inclined?








Offline aim9xray

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2017, 08:04:32 pm »
...I would think that crawlers would have picked through all this data already though.  I've found some of my own posts on SP through google searches.

This is off on a tangent, and I apologize.  But has anyone else noticed that while Google and Yahoo could have one to three spiders working, Baidu frequently has 30+?  Is Baidu particularly inefficient, or is this site singled out for special attention? And what might the implications of that be?

Count at this moment: Yahoo! (2), Google (3), Baidu (29).


Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2017, 08:47:16 pm »

Are there any reference sites out there that one might visit if they're so inclined?

https://xenforo.com/community/ is a typical basic install of the XenForo forum software (its the forum for user support).

Some other features include tags for posts, topic prefixes, better user messaging, personalized news feeds, trophies, subscription support, support for Facebook style "likes"... I'm not sure exactly which features will be enabled, a lot depends on testing. I have an issue with a small number of corrupt images breaking the import process, once that is resolved I''ll work on setup, and once its in a useful state I''ll get moderators and selected users to test it out.

One option is to drastically cut down the boards and distinguish topics another way. For example, have one Aircraft Projects board, then create topic prefixes like "Pre-WWI", "WWI", "Interwar", "WW2", "Cold War", "Modern". Then if you like specific eras only, you can filter out those time periods you aren't interested in. A Topic Prefix is a single choice item which comes at the start of the topic name, you can only have 1 and it can be mandatory.

You can also use tags like ""Aircraft", "Missile", "Project", "Vought", "WW2", "V/STOL" so topics can be tagged with multiple tags describing the content. You can click the "Vought" tag and find all topics tagged "Vought" but not instances of people mentioning Vought in other topics. Tags can be restricted to admins or users can be allowed to create tags too (this would probably be a "senior member" privilege).

Once I have the existing content migrated to a test forum, I will try out these different features.
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
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Offline Antonio

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2017, 11:00:28 pm »
I welcome introducing tags. Some subjects are difficult to classify into a single topic. Choosing a brief but descriptive topic tittle couldn't be easy. Tags will bring a more efficient forum and allow easier access to contents.

Offline CJGibson

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2017, 12:39:05 am »
In the search feature, will it be possible to ignore items, specifically members names?

Chris

Offline Hood

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2017, 01:31:11 am »
I like the concept of the mandatory topic prefix. That could work well, likewise so could the tags.
The current search is a bit hit and miss, especially if you're searching fairly generic terms or project names.

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Big changes coming to Secret Projects Forum soon....
« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2017, 01:53:08 am »
Couple more thoughts occurred to me overnight about Xenforo.

Privacy: Commercial software companies can gain an additional revenue stream if they embed data harvesting into their product and sell the data on to the Big Data companies (who provide the harvesting code). Many commercial web service products now do this. Can we be sure that Xenforo does not?

Proprietary lock-in and end-of-life: One day you will want to migrate from Xenforo to something else.  It is common enough for commercial software to use a proprietary data format. It then tries to attract and keep its user base by enabling import from a competitor product but to forbid export. Does Xenforo offer full data export, against that day?

Open Source products such as Simple Machines and phpBB are pretty user-friendly in these respects.
Cheers.