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Old 11-02-2018, 03:37 PM   #1
Tourmeister
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Some interesting TWT numbers

In the process of getting ready to move the forum to a new server and new software platform, I have been doing a lot of house cleaning with regard to nuking threads, nuking users, removing moderators that are no longer active, etc,... Just on a lark, I did a few conditional searches of the active member list.

We currently have 21408 user accounts

109 users are currently active forum supporters
23 accounts are set as inactive due to death or member request
465 accounts are members of the Deadmail Usergroup (their emails bounce back).

We have 5 admins and 2 moderators, not including moderators like Trail Boss, Shadman, and Patrick, which are TWT Sponsors and are thus moderators of their subforums.

There are 18316 users with 25 or fewer posts, 3101 with more than 25
There are 19256 users with 50 or fewer posts, 2161 with more than 50
There are 19661 users with 75 or fewer posts, 1757 with more than 75
There are 19921 users with 100 or fewer posts, 1497 with more than 100

There are only 1157 users with 150 or more posts, which is 5.4% of all the users we've ever had.

Before I started nuking threads, we had about 1.5 million posts. We now have about 1.15 million posts.

As of January 1, 2018, only 679 of the 1157 have had any activity, which includes just logging into their account.

As of January 1, 2018, there have been 2865 users with any activity
As of June 1, 2018, there have been 2182 users with any activity
As of October 1, 2018, there have been 1391 users with any activity

March 2003 was the first full month after TWT started, there were 490 new posts that month.

March 2004 - 1360
March 2005 - 4832
March 2006 - 7936
March 2007 - 11095
March 2008 - 16549
August 2008 - 20083 The highest ever
March 2009 - 18384
March 2010 - 10441
March 2011 - 11526
March 2012 - 12869
March 2013 - 11955
March 2014 - 10170
March 2015 - 7120
March 2016 - 8336
March 2017 - 5804
March 2018 - 4252
October 2018 - 4453

New user registrations are a VERY different story. Up through Dec 2016, we were averaging around 200 new registrations per month, about 5-10 real new users per day with the occasional spammers that got nuked. The total registrations only includes accounts that get past the first step of registration and then wait for final approval by an admin. Most spammers fail to get past that first step and are bulk deleted. It was pretty rare for a spammer to get past that first step.

Starting Jan 1st 2017, things changed radically!! Just in that first month, there were over 1500 new registrations, but actual real users dropped to maybe 1-2 per day. Every now and then I might see 4-5 real new users in a day. The rest were ALL spammers that had figured out how to get past that first step of the registration process. So figure maybe 50 new real users per month instead of 200, and 1500 spammers instead of a small handful. By Jan of 2018, total monthly registrations had climbed to 4750. Feb, Mar, & Apr were all right around 6K new registrations. May and June both hit over 7500 new registrations. After June, it suddenly dropped back down under 3500 per month where it has been holding steady. In all that time, the rate at which real new users were joining the site stayed down around 1-2 per day. It was not unusual for me to delete 300-400 spammers per day that were being counted toward new registrations. It has slowed down a bit, but the number of real new users has not started coming back up again. It did not help that in the process of trying to keep out the waves of spammers the occasional legit user got nuked as well. I would occasionally get people contacting me wanting to know why their account got rejected and I'd have to ask them to try again so that I could watch for their account to make sure it got through the second time.

When I visit support forums where forum admins go to get help for their various forum software packages, there is a common theme, "Facebook is killing us!" Some also blame sites like Twitter, Instagram, etc,... This even came up in a recent ride report thread with regard to the Whatsapp site. Some even wonder if forums have a real future anymore. I am not quite so pessimistic even though the numbers clearly show a decline from the heydays of the 2008 period.

We are starting to see a lot of backlash for sites like Facebook, with their massive data mining of personal user information, shutting down of long time users based on political agendas, and just the seeming endless hostility and trash talking that takes place. I still think forums have a place in terms of generating a more real community, where people can actually get to know each other better than they can on drive by type social media sites. Yes, it takes a bit more time to interact with the community of forum users than on places like FB, Twitter, etc,... but let's face it, quality relationships ALWAYS require more time and intentional effort to make them better. There is simply no getting around that. In that vein, I still think forums offer a way for people to come together, share, learn, and plan face to face events where we can get to know each other even better.

I would love to see our user base continue to grow. Growth always presents challenges in terms of maintaining a positive community feel, but that is where the users themselves are the greatest contributors. I was recently reading a thread on one of those admin support forums and the other admins were talking about lessons learned, good and bad, and how hard it was for them to keep their users under control. It seems many of them are dealing with the same hostility and lack of civility that so many other internet locations are dealing with and it is killing their forums. I have been fortunate that early on TWT users took to heart my desire for TWT NOT to be like that and they have worked with me to keep that from happening. Unlike most of those other admins, I and the other admins/mods here on TWT really don't have to spend that much time and effort trying to keep our users under control. Sure, there have been and continue to be the occasional flare up, but they are usually short lived and rarely result in users holding grudges and or permanently leaving the site.

Changing technology has also had an impact on forum. When I first started TWT back in Feb of 2003, the vast majority of our users were accessing the site via desktop and laptop computers. Mobile phones and pads had not yet taken over the internet. Now, I think perhaps most of our users are accessing the site with phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. The vBulletin software I have been running for many years now just doesn't handle these new devices well. This is what gave rise to apps like Forum Runner and TapaTalk. The new software we will be using has built in mobile device support without the need for anything special to be done by the users. You can even see what it will look like if you are sitting at a desktop browser and just start shrinking down the browser window. It resizes on the fly, maintaining a nice clean presentation of the content.

Another thing that has changed is the way people distribute their media. No longer do most people sit at a computer and upload images from their hard drives. Some of us still do, but most now want to be able to upload images and video directly from their mobile devices. They don't want to have to edit/resize images on their desktop computers first so they can upload them to the site. Once I get the new software setup, users will be able to upload images of any size and if they are too large, they will be resized on the fly to meet the max display size of the forum. Users will be able to easily attach images to their posts directly from their mobile devices.

It is my hope that the upcoming transition to a new server system and a new forum software platform will position TWT to continue serving the riding community in Texas, and beyond, for years to come. It will provide plenty of growth room in terms of the hardware and ideally make it much easier for people to interact with the site in ways they are used to interacting with other social media sites.
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Total Forum Supporter Donations For November: $33.96 - Previous Month: $635.07 - Record High: Jan 16 $1539.42 - 111 Current Forum Supporters out of 20871 Users (0.53%)
Support TWT by shopping at Amazon


The number one rule for this forum!
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

Quote:
"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. - Brandon Smith

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. — Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. – Murray N. Rothbard

When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction — the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law. - John Hasnas
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:51 PM   #2
Tourmeister
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

I forgot to mention, even though it won't really make any difference on the user side of things, that the new forum software will do a MUCH better job of helping me keep out the spammers. That is not exciting for most of you, but it is for me because I have to manually run a filter several times and day and then remove all the spammers. I've already done it perhaps five or six times just this afternoon and each time it I've nuked 30-40 spam accounts. In fact, today marks the day with the highest number of visitors to the site EVER, with just over 12000!! Needless to say, it has been mostly spammers...
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Scott Friday

Total Forum Supporter Donations For November: $33.96 - Previous Month: $635.07 - Record High: Jan 16 $1539.42 - 111 Current Forum Supporters out of 20871 Users (0.53%)
Support TWT by shopping at Amazon


The number one rule for this forum!
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

Quote:
"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. - Brandon Smith

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. — Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. – Murray N. Rothbard

When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction — the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law. - John Hasnas
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:59 PM   #3
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Good stuff and fun numbers. Got any numbers there for the geeks? DB size, before and after nuke, etc?

I think pie runs are the key to what makes this place work. Well, part of it is that most of us are limited by geography though we have a few outside of our boundaries, but we are close enough that the community can get together "IRL" and have a slice of pie, kick tires, and oggle farkles. Meeting people face to face changes things vs other forums where people are all over the world and have never even seen one another. Knowing one another outside of the digital world definitely changes things.
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:15 PM   #4
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Interesting....

Please keep Tapatalk, I don’t do Facebook or other soc media. Nice thing about specific forums is we all share mutual interests and events.
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:49 PM   #5
Tourmeister
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxerjasen View Post
Good stuff and fun numbers. Got any numbers there for the geeks? DB size, before and after nuke, etc?
The database was a hair over 2GB before and right at 1.5GB after the nuking.
We went from around 98K threads to 52.5K threads.
We went from around 1.5M posts to about 1.15M posts.
Currently the attachments take up 1.65GB of space.

Hard drive space really isn't an issue nowadays. That is one thing that will be changing with the upgrade. I will allow attachments to be larger than they are now, 1200 x 1200 versus 640 x 480, and also I will allow more per post.

My current server has LOADS of drive space remaining. It has (3) drives setup in a raid mirror arrangement for the data and (2) smaller faster drives for the OS. None of them are even close to being full.

Quote:
Originally Posted by misterk View Post
Interesting....

Please keep Tapatalk, I don’t do Facebook or other soc media. Nice thing about specific forums is we all share mutual interests and events.
Tapatalk will be going away as it will not be needed for the new forum software. As an admin, I really don't like it because I have ZERO control over how it displays the forum or even what it displays, nor do I like having to keep up with all their upgrades and nagging me to upgrade. With the new software, when you view the site on a phone or tablet, it will look similar to Tapatalk in the sense that a lot of the graphics go away, leaving just forum headers and content. If you want to see a good example of what I am talking about, visit this site on your phone just using your regular browser,

https://www.southbayriders.com/

Even if you are viewing that with a desktop browser, grab the edge of your browser and start shrinking it in the left/right direction and you will see how the layout changes on the fly.

I guess if enough users REALLY want me to keep it, I might consider it, but I REALLY don't want to
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Scott Friday

Total Forum Supporter Donations For November: $33.96 - Previous Month: $635.07 - Record High: Jan 16 $1539.42 - 111 Current Forum Supporters out of 20871 Users (0.53%)
Support TWT by shopping at Amazon


The number one rule for this forum!
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

Quote:
"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. - Brandon Smith

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. — Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. – Murray N. Rothbard

When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction — the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law. - John Hasnas
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Old 11-02-2018, 05:17 PM   #6
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Jasen is spot on with his observation that most of us actually know each other and that adds to the civility on the forum. I've seen the same thing happen on other regional forums as well. One of the other things is that off topic threads -politics and such - are generally kicked down to the off topic forum or filed away in their own space pretty quickly.

I moderate a Facebook group and think that there is still a place for forums in the future. Maybe it's familiarity, but I can navigate a forum much easier than I can a Facebook group and frankly, like many, I've been working hard to keep Facebook, Google, AT&T, Amazon and the "Quantico circuit" from following me around. As long as forums focus on a specific purpose, are well organized and do not "lead" the user through advertising, search, etc. they they will have an audience on the internet.
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Old 11-02-2018, 06:16 PM   #7
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Advertising is a tough issue for forums. A LOT of people nowadays think everything should be free and they get offended when it is not. I make next to nothing from advertising on this site. Running a site like this takes time and money. It has been costing me close to $3K per year to keep the site up and running. I am fortunate that donations have covered that and left me enough to occasionally buy tires or maybe pay for a bike trip once a year. I am certainly not able to pay any serious bills from the money I get from this site. Given the time I've put into it over the years, I am most certainly only making pennies on the hour I have the luxury of being able to put that time into it though because of the nature of my job. That could easily change though. It can be hard to justify the time spent on forum related stuff when I could be spending it elsewhere.

Like other folks, I get tired of constant in your face advertising. However, there is no escaping the reality that it is advertising that makes a LOT of what we enjoy in this world possible. It's a bit of a double edged sword. I have tried to keep the advertising here limited and non-obtrusive. With the new software platform, I might try using Google AdSense to see how that goes. However, I will NOT be putting banners all over the site, in between posts in a thread, etc,... as you see on other sites. IF I do it at all, it would be a single banner just below the navigation/header section of the page and in the footer, nothing in the main body. I am still undecided on this though. Given how much donations have dropped off since 2008, I may not have a lot of choice
__________________
Scott Friday

Total Forum Supporter Donations For November: $33.96 - Previous Month: $635.07 - Record High: Jan 16 $1539.42 - 111 Current Forum Supporters out of 20871 Users (0.53%)
Support TWT by shopping at Amazon


The number one rule for this forum!
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

Quote:
"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. - Brandon Smith

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. — Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. – Murray N. Rothbard

When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction — the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law. - John Hasnas
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:16 PM   #8
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Very interesting, I geek out on numbers and stats but that forum supporter number of 109 is surprising. I assumed with the thousands of members and visitors that would be much higher.
TWT created solice and friendships at a needed time, some that will last forever. I know facebook is the go-to time waster webplace but any motorcycle information evaporates, meets and trips are flaky and everyone has a 15 second attention span. I never get targeted advertising for Nugenix if I mention I'm tired... or Zilla links if a helmet is mentioned.

The FZ1OA is another from 2002-2003, that is a long time in interweb years. Numbers are down, interest waning and social media has taken over but some original guys OG's keep it funded and active just because it created friendships and is family.

The switch will make life easier I'm told, security and spam traffic are a pain and major time suckers.
Thanks for the work all these years TM, mods and supporters too !
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Thanks Scott!
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:49 PM   #10
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Good to know stats.

Other sites I've been associated with has had really good luck (acceptance by the masses) by dedicating a column on the right side ... 50-100 pixels ... for advertising.

No banners at the top or bottom.

Least intrusive to the user.


And again ... some of us who are recently retired and have bit of forum savvy are willing to help with the burden.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:24 PM   #11
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxerjasen View Post
I think pie runs are the key to what makes this place work. Well, part of it is that most of us are limited by geography though we have a few outside of our boundaries, but we are close enough that the community can get together "IRL" and have a slice of pie, kick tires, and oggle farkles. Meeting people face to face changes things vs other forums where people are all over the world and have never even seen one another. Knowing one another outside of the digital world definitely changes things.
Very similar to the CB communities back in the 70s when someone would announce "let's meet for coffee at Denny's on Broadway & Kolb" and 50 people would show up out of nowhere. We all "talked" to each other on the radio, but it's always nice to put a face to the voice.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:46 PM   #12
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meriden View Post
As long as forums focus on a specific purpose
Yes! We wouldn't want our regional specific motorcycle forum to become polluted by becoming hyper focused on one particular model of motorcycle from one particular manufacturer, bringing in users from all over the world, and then straying off into other areas like photography and guns and stuff. That'd totally ruin the focus of our little community.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:22 AM   #13
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Thank you for the insights. The threads that are here are just what I'd look for in a regional forum. I don't do facebook, to hard to find things and the hostility you mentioned.

Please keep up the good work!
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:25 AM   #14
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourmeister View Post
Advertising is a tough issue for forums. A LOT of people nowadays think everything should be free and they get offended when it is not. I make next to nothing from advertising on this site. Running a site like this takes time and money. It has been costing me close to $3K per year to keep the site up and running. I am fortunate that donations have covered that and left me enough to occasionally buy tires or maybe pay for a bike trip once a year. I am certainly not able to pay any serious bills from the money I get from this site. Given the time I've put into it over the years, I am most certainly only making pennies on the hour I have the luxury of being able to put that time into it though because of the nature of my job. That could easily change though. It can be hard to justify the time spent on forum related stuff when I could be spending it elsewhere.

Like other folks, I get tired of constant in your face advertising. However, there is no escaping the reality that it is advertising that makes a LOT of what we enjoy in this world possible. It's a bit of a double edged sword. I have tried to keep the advertising here limited and non-obtrusive. With the new software platform, I might try using Google AdSense to see how that goes. However, I will NOT be putting banners all over the site, in between posts in a thread, etc,... as you see on other sites. IF I do it at all, it would be a single banner just below the navigation/header section of the page and in the footer, nothing in the main body. I am still undecided on this though. Given how much donations have dropped off since 2008, I may not have a lot of choice
Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxerjasen View Post
Yes! We wouldn't want our regional specific motorcycle forum to become polluted by becoming hyper focused on one particular model of motorcycle from one particular manufacturer, bringing in users from all over the world, and then straying off into other areas like photography and guns and stuff. That'd totally ruin the focus of our little community.

Well a little diversity and reach never hurt anybody, but I'd be surprised if the Bandits forum or photography makes up more than a single digit of overall posts. Maybe TM can share those numbers. With maybe a handful of exceptions I'd guess that all of the references to TWT on other forums, blogs, etc. are pointing people to Texas riding opportunities.

This does bring up an example of being led by the annoying algorithms that I was alluding to earlier. First of all, I expect advertising. As they say, if you're not the customer, you're the product. Seeing TWT sponsors doesn't bother me because they are all motorcycling related. But I've yet to have a forum provide user specific advertising like Facebook. If my wife is researching a new suitcase, TWT doesn't suggest suitcases to me. Also I've never had a forum urge me to follow a thread because other users "I know" are following it. Like most Texans, I own a closet full of guns and about as may shovels... and I'm equally invested in the two, which is to say not at all. When my niece's boyfriend got into AR15s and reloading, I spent a lot of time training Facebook that I didn't want to join any firearms related groups. I've not had a forum lead me to follow this thread or that thread. It's up to me, the user. That's what I mean when I say stay close to a specific purpose and avoid leading advertising.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:43 AM   #15
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

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Originally Posted by gixxerjasen View Post
Yes! We wouldn't want our regional specific motorcycle forum to become polluted by becoming hyper focused on one particular model of motorcycle from one particular manufacturer, bringing in users from all over the world, and then straying off into other areas like photography and guns and stuff. That'd totally ruin the focus of our little community.
I dropped out of several FB sites covering my preferred brand and model because the 'attitude' of those you've never met can get caustic.
THIS SITE, on the other hand, expresses distaste between posts with a much larger vocabulary and a decidedly higher level of respect for others.

I think it must be the 'PIE'.

I look forward to an easier process for posting photos. Never got the hang of it.
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:15 PM   #16
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

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My current server has LOADS of drive space remaining. It has (3) drives setup in a raid mirror arrangement for the data and (2) smaller faster drives for the OS. None of them are even close to being full.
Ahh, I remember the days of physical computers, worrying about RAID, ensuring the DB can fit in RAM without paging, power supply redundancies, etc. Unless (and perhaps even) if you own that server, I'd strongly recommend looking at virtualization like AWS. It'll save you tons of time and worry. Imagine never patching another OS, never updating a live server, and having full, nightly backup basically for free. And never even thinking about hardware.

And yes, this is both none of my business, and kinda my job

And, let's get TWT entirely on HTTPS, while we at it
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:27 PM   #17
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Thanks as ever for all of the hard work, brother.
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:32 PM   #18
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

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Very interesting, I geek out on numbers and stats but that forum supporter number of 109 is surprising. I assumed with the thousands of members and visitors that it would be much higher.
It should be.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:59 PM   #19
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

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Ahh, I remember the days of physical computers, worrying about RAID, ensuring the DB can fit in RAM without paging, power supply redundancies, etc. Unless (and perhaps even) if you own that server, I'd strongly recommend looking at virtualization like AWS. It'll save you tons of time and worry. Imagine never patching another OS, never updating a live server, and having full, nightly backup basically for free. And never even thinking about hardware.

And yes, this is both none of my business, and kinda my job

And, let's get TWT entirely on HTTPS, while we at it
I do own the current server. When we first started, TWT was on a shared hosting service. That was a total nightmare, with the site going down frequently. I then got moved to a dedicated server by virtue of a member here that owned a few servers. That worked great until his job required him to move and he had to shut down the servers. Another member here owned a data center in Dallas. He got me hooked up on a server there, but between TWT and ST-Owners.com, that server was having a hard time keeping up with the load demands. The site was timing out frequently. It eventually reached the point where something had to be done. At that time, I bought my own Dell server. It is still located in Dallas, but the data center moved after the company was sold. They did honor the deal I had with the previous company. TWT has been sitting on that server since 2007. In all that time, it has had one hard drive failure. It is still running on the same OS, php, MySQL, vBulletin, etc,... as it started with in 2007. As we all know, that is ANCIENT in computer terms!

Trying to upgrade is a real pain because if you upgrade one thing, it forces you to upgrade another because of all the interdependencies. The new versions of vB won't run unless I first upgrade the OS, php, MySQL, etc,... I cannot go straight from vB 3.8.1 to vB 5.0 without having to do multiple intermediate upgrades first. This means upgrading the OS, then vB, then doing it again for each intermediate upgrade. In the end, it would be a nasty process of multiple upgrades. However, by making the switch to a complete new virtual private server and XenForo 2 (the forum software), I can do it all in one step.

I already have the new VPS up and running. I am currently working with a few other friends to help me get it configured properly. I have a test copy of XF2 up and running. I am in the process of learning how it works, especially on the back end Admin side of things. There are many similarities, but there are also some major differences. I have already done a few test imports of the database from the live TWT site into XF2 just to see how the process works and in an attempt to detect and solve any problems that occur along the way, of which there are a few.

Even after the data is imported into XF2, there is a lot that has to be done to make sure usergroups are setup properly, forum permissions are setup properly, and everything is working as desired. Fortunately, there is a simple add-on to XF2 that I can install that makes all the links in existing threads and posts still work. So we won't have to worry about broken links. They will just automagically redirect to the new thread/post links. For those folks that have images in the TWT Photo Gallery, all of the links to those images will still work. However, the TWT Photo Gallery as a forum feature will be going away because that is an add-on that is specific to vB. The existing data will be preserved indefinitely though, so no images will be lost. In place of the gallery, I will simply be expanding the ability to use attachments. The only downside is that I am not sure all the images will be in one place like an album for convenient browsing. That is something I am still investigating.

Switching to the VPS instead of shared hosting means I won't have to worry about hardware issues, but I will still have to worry about OS issues. It is a fully managed server, meaning they don't do all the software upgrades/configuration for you. The upside of this is that I have a LOT more resources available, especially in terms of storage space.

I am still at least a few weeks from having everything ready to make the switch. Once I think I have all the kinks of the migration process worked out and am ready to do it for real, I will send out a mass email to all the TWT users letting them know when it will be done. The site will likely have to come down for 24-48 hours. I probably won't be getting much sleep during that time.

I am sure there will be a period of adjustment as we all try to get used to the new look and feel of things. I am trying to keep the look and feel as close to what we have now as I can to minimize confusion. I will have a thread where people can post "How do I..." type questions to help with the switch.

Getting TWT switched over to the https is also going to be part of the process.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:30 PM   #20
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Re: Some interesting TWT numbers

Wow. way too deep into the "0 - 1 bits" for me.

Scott, even though I don't ride much anymore, you made it possible for me to transition from TSCEC enduro's to Dual Sport & off road recreational riding with a bunch of new friends. Then introduced me to several road bike riders so I could enjoy a sport that I had not enjoyed since 1985.

I really do think of this site often and am so glad someone recommended it to me. It has always been helpful, civil and welcoming.

We should all strive to have a positive influence on others but when I think about it somewhere up in those numbers is the number of people you have had a positive influence on.

I don't log on as often as I had in the past, but I always look forward to seeing the pictures of kids on their bikes. Smiles so big, that I can once again remember how big the grin was on my face when I first rode my SL70. We won't go into how long ago that was, but I have wiped many memories from my hard drive since then.

Thank You, interesting numbers but Know YOU have MADE a difference!

I will try to keep up with my support.

Sam & Shirley
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