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A new forum.  What would you propose as operational parameters?

 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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22 June 2015 21:12
 

OK, maybe a huge issue.  First, we have a number of people here who’d constitute an excellent “Board of Directors” of a new forum.  Second, as much as possible I’d finance it to the tune of 10k.  I’ve some but not endless resources, and might well need others, but that’s not the main issue to me.  The main issue is what would be the philosophical definitions of such a forum, as different from or the same as PR?  Some opinions, which are central to my financial support:

1. There will be limits on what is posted, defined by an philosophical statement as well as a Board of directors.
2. There will be required standards of civility, an absence of personal attack or threats, but no proscriptions of any theism or atheism.  Any expressed philosophical position is open to attack or criticism, but not the person so expressing a position, absent that person’s denigration of others by virtue of race, gender, age or any other attribute that is not chosen. 
3.  My initial Board of Directors asks for Billy, EN, Burt, Nhoj, Martin, BRF, and any others who express an interest and who have demonstrated to me that they’re rational, non-bigoted, deliberative folks.

OK, I’ve tossed a ball.  Anyone want to respond?

 
 
nv
 
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nv
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22 June 2015 21:32
 

$10,000 per . . . month? Year? What does a well-stocked forum run these days, including freely flowing popcorn and freshly churned Wisconsin butter?

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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22 June 2015 22:15
 
envy me - 22 June 2015 07:32 PM

$10,000 per . . . month? Year? What does a well-stocked forum run these days, including freely flowing popcorn and freshly churned Wisconsin butter?

No I am offering 10k as a start-up amount. Do NOT bullshit me, this is a serious proposal.  This maybe a futile effort, but I’m willing to explore it.

 
 
nv
 
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nv
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22 June 2015 22:45
 
Dennis Campbell - 22 June 2015 08:15 PM

. . . Do NOT bullshit me, this is a serious proposal. . . .

Am I a bullshitter? How can I ever be accepted by you if you see me as a bullshitter? I’m serious.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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22 June 2015 23:01
 
envy me - 22 June 2015 08:45 PM
Dennis Campbell - 22 June 2015 08:15 PM

. . . Do NOT bullshit me, this is a serious proposal. . . .

Am I a bullshitter? How can I ever be accepted by you if you see me as a bullshitter? I’m serious.

If you address the base issues of a new forum, to me a huge task, then I’ll listen.  If you post re popcorn, etc. then I’ll not.  I’ve never done this before, it might well be a futile and useless effort.  So far, you’ve added to that probability.

 
 
Bugs Bunny
 
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22 June 2015 23:15
 

I confess ignorance on what it cost, financially, outside of a lot of hard work to maintain the operation,  answer complaints and other issues involved in running a forum. 

And, I am shocked at the high dollar amount.
 
I think the philosophical message is perfect Dennis,  the choice for Board of Directors are some of the best, not to mention your generosity of considering the contribution.  Your choice, and I would agree are a mix of good,  intelligent, fair minded and highly creative people. 

Having said that, I have been attempting for three months now to wean myself off of the forum life of PR,  permanently.  Personal reasons, I just slip up and post…    I have learned quite a bit from reading many of the posts here, and not just for entertainment reasons.  Some of the humor, play on words are so creative.    PR can be addicting for some of us, each with varying reasons and I haven’t quite figured out all of mine.

Anyway, I’m commenting on your philosophical goals, and that is to say it spells in my mind a successful starting point.

[ Edited: 22 June 2015 23:19 by Bugs Bunny]
 
 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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22 June 2015 23:18
 

Dennis,

This is a very thoughtful and generous offer on your part. I need to do some thinking before responding, but I wanted to acknowledge your gesture immediately.

I presume much of the cost has to do with the software needed to run a forum—the basic framework?

 
 
nv
 
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nv
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22 June 2015 23:22
 
Dennis Campbell - 22 June 2015 09:01 PM
envy me - 22 June 2015 08:45 PM
Dennis Campbell - 22 June 2015 08:15 PM

. . . Do NOT bullshit me, this is a serious proposal. . . .

Am I a bullshitter? How can I ever be accepted by you if you see me as a bullshitter? I’m serious.

If you address the base issues of a new forum, to me a huge task, then I’ll listen.  If you post re popcorn, etc. then I’ll not.  I’ve never done this before, it might well be a futile and useless effort.  So far, you’ve added to that probability.

So touchy. My goodness.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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22 June 2015 23:57
 
bigredfutbol - 22 June 2015 09:18 PM

Dennis,

This is a very thoughtful and generous offer on your part. I need to do some thinking before responding, but I wanted to acknowledge your gesture immediately.

I presume much of the cost has to do with the software needed to run a forum—the basic framework?

BRF,

All true.  I will not finance idiots who seek to blather, but, frankly, do not have clear parameters.  Sure, a web site can be created, but that means squat by itself.  We have here, I think, a great resource in intellectual treasure that could be exploited to, perhaps, the gain of many.  Not as a coattail of a famous person, such as SH, all due respect to SH, but as a collection of people who’ve demonstrated their aptitude for both thinking and communicating.  Not “for all,” but for that best.  The bitch, to me, is screening w/o eliminating that “best.  I do not envision, will not finance, nor seek contributions for every wanna-be to ejaculate in public. Maybe a few of us can with a lot of work, get together and hammer out a proposal.  Or not.  PM or use my posted email.  Might work, more likely will flop.  But to me worth the effort.

If no one, or an insufficiency, respond, dead deal.  Seems to me that EN, Billy, Burt, Joby(?), Jeff, and others as named or implied might be able to form such a forum.  This is all exploratory.

 
 
J Kapp
 
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J Kapp
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23 June 2015 03:58
 

Don’t see how you can accuse someone of being touchy when s/he is making such a major commitment not just time-wise, but monetarily as well…

No “maybe” here, Dennis. This is a huge topic. I don’t owe a thing to PR, but to the posters—including you, the directors you named and others not mentioned. It would mean a lot to me, personally, if there was a successor to PR. Here are a few operational parameters that come to my mind right out of the gate:

—possible referral required (first wave of members are given a code, and for future members to join they require a code)
—in the case of not having a code, there is an application process that must be screened by directors/moderators
—in contrast to PR, more diversity in belief systems, which would be accomplished in part by higher levels of civility
—age limit (even if I did join at 16)
—optional communication platform like Ventrilo (this may be a generational desire)

The cost would be related to a few things:
—whether you choose open-source software or freeware
—the domain name
—finding a host
—marketing
—hiring web designers (optional)

You could host a forum for any price ranging form nil to hundreds annually. A better option than a single, direct monetary contribution may be a kickstarter, which would also generate interest in the site. Web designers, programmers, etc. are optional because many people, like myself, could probably learn all that stuff autodidactically.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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23 June 2015 11:06
 
J Kapp - 23 June 2015 01:58 AM

Don’t see how you can accuse someone of being touchy when s/he is making such a major commitment not just time-wise, but monetarily as well…

No “maybe” here, Dennis. This is a huge topic. I don’t owe a thing to PR, but to the posters—including you, the directors you named and others not mentioned. It would mean a lot to me, personally, if there was a successor to PR. Here are a few operational parameters that come to my mind right out of the gate:

—possible referral required (first wave of members are given a code, and for future members to join they require a code)
—in the case of not having a code, there is an application process that must be screened by directors/moderators
—in contrast to PR, more diversity in belief systems, which would be accomplished in part by higher levels of civility
—age limit (even if I did join at 16)
—optional communication platform like Ventrilo (this may be a generational desire)

The cost would be related to a few things:
—whether you choose open-source software or freeware
—the domain name
—finding a host
—marketing
—hiring web designers (optional)

You could host a forum for any price ranging form nil to hundreds annually. A better option than a single, direct monetary contribution may be a kickstarter, which would also generate interest in the site. Web designers, programmers, etc. are optional because many people, like myself, could probably learn all that stuff autodidactically.

Good points all.  I believe we could create such a forum, but not without a lot of work by talented people.  If and as they offer points about such a forum, we can proceed.  This cannot be a one person creation but a joint effort.  Let’s see if there’s any serious interest here.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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23 June 2015 11:59
 
J Kapp - 23 June 2015 01:58 AM

Don’t see how you can accuse someone of being touchy when s/he is making such a major commitment not just time-wise, but monetarily as well…

That in-and-of itself can be an indication of touchiness, actually.

Committing to doing a header into the surf before we have any real sense of whether the leak is even consequential seems just a tad on the hasty side. And while it’s entirely reasonable to impose some personal standards on something you own/you’re financing, it’s also something others interested in the general idea need to consider—something that can significantly change what the general idea looks like in application. So whether or not you like the before or after version of the general idea and to what extent are in question. Dennis has always been big on establishing tighter rules and personal standards of access and such, and while rules and standards are necessary and good, for the most part the degree and extent to which Dennis advocates applying them have mostly been somewhat unpopular.

Those are just factors that are in play and should be recognized here.

Personally I think Dennis’ forum would be interesting and worthwhile, but it might be kinda uptight and I’m not sure it would be viable for more than a handful ... dunno ... but in any case I’m still interested in checking out this alleged leak and in what’s around us in the general area. Before I rush to dive into the surf or even plan it out, I’ll take a little time to check into all those kinds of things since the boat’s still here and more or less intact and there are other vessels cruising around (I’ve even visited a few, and regularly spend some time on a couple of them).

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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23 June 2015 14:53
 

My site costs a couple hundred a year plus domain charges. Not a big deal. No forum though.

I have not lost hope in this place. The signs and portents are not clear.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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23 June 2015 18:04
 
Nhoj Morley - 23 June 2015 12:53 PM

My site costs a couple hundred a year plus domain charges. Not a big deal. No forum though.

I have not lost hope in this place. The signs and portents are not clear.

Neither have I.  But should that happen…..

 
 
Jefe
 
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23 June 2015 18:48
 

Firstly, this is a generous offer.  Thanks Dennis.

Secondly, I have run a private set of forums in the past, and can provide some guidance (but not all) and bear in mind that it’s been a long time since I was directly involved in my own small forum.

Forums can balloon on one if they are set up to allow public access and subscription.  If they are not set up to provide public access or subscription, then they may end up being a handful of people batting balloons back and forth with no real change to the community makeup. 

There are also some security and liability issues with running a public access forum.  The software used to run forums ‘should’ be updated to stay on top of security bugs and other gaps where private user information may become less than secure.  This ‘can’ be mitigated somewhat with disclaimers and such, but it is death to a forum if they private information leaks and the administrators are unable to update (for whatever reason).  Liability also becomes an issue if there is any form of payment transaction going on, as private credit info requires a whole bunch of regulated security and protections against such an eventuality.  This is not meant to scare anyone away from such an endeavor, but simply meant to inform.  I don’t think a private forum of the nature Dennis is talking about would have any sort of payment handling, so this may be moot.

Administrating a forum also requires moderator(s) who can clean up spambot traffic, deal with automated crawler/subcriberbots, and generally help deal with unruly or unwanted users.  These mods will probably also perform the job of updating membership guidelines and rules as well. (Hi Nohn and Mart!)

Ordinariliy a form of 20-40 people could probably fit into a web hosting account at a similar expense scale to what Nohj has suggested (Under $500/year) from a domain and webspace subscription.  Paying a technical minded person to install and set-up the forum software (and access accounts for owners and mods etc) can probably scale from around $1000 and up - depending of level of complexity, design considerations, and whatnot.  I think software can probably ballpark from Sub $1000 to above, again depending of modernity, feature set, and whatnot.  The web sub will have to be compatible with the Forum Software (not a huge deal, most domain/web hosts have modules for the more common software sets).

In summary, this could be done, and likely for less than the amount Dennis has suggested, with a yearly of $500 or less (likely quite a bit less) to keep up, provided the subscriber base remains smallish (1-200 users) and the software and access accounts are kept up to date.

This should give you all some cud to chew while thinking this over. 

Thanks again for the generous offer, Dennis.  Hope this is helpful.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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23 June 2015 20:40
 

Jefe,

Thanks much for that post.  If and as PR continues, no need; if not, I can afford to finance for a few years.  I had in mind, as a contingency only option, asking for a handful of senior posters here (I’ve suggested some), who hash out an articulate philosophical statement of “mission” as well as rule of conduct. No apologies I think such rules are required if flexible, enforced and evolving. I’d make what suggestion I feel worthwhile, but that “founding Board” would have the final vote.  I would vote only in the event of a tie vote, and maybe not even then. I would not serve as an administrator or moderator. But, these folks, if interested, need to step forward; if they do not, a dead deal. 

Of course I’ve opinions; I would never allow or agree to a BM blathering on for years.  I’d also select, from among the volunteers from our senior posters, those I feel have the judgement and decision-making ability.  I’ve been a “director” or manager, and am well aware of the fact that, once in a position like that, decisions need to be made.  My idea, now is that once such a “founding Board” was established, I’d watch but not over-rule, contribute but not decide. I’m too old and realize that narcissism aside, my time is limited.  I’d be pleased to think that I helped launch such a forum, and also have the belief that through personal contacts, such a forum could possibly evolve into something of worth.  A “public” forum re reading, but NOT open to every swinging dick who seeks public masturbation. Some sort of screening is required. 

First order of business, to await from any of our senior members an expression of interest.  Absent that, dead deal as said.  Given that, a lot of PM or email correspondence.  Second order of business, articulating a mission statement and “rules.”  Where it goes from there, I’ve no idea.  Getting a developer of a web site with a sophisticated design is more than I can do.  I think I can finance that, but first two points need to happen beforehand.

 
 
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