Just a few snippets from when my AIM logger actually works, which is rarely and only goes back a few months. This is going from most recent to older as you go down.
GravitonSurge: is there a reasonable way to make it happen? maybe you have to log in somewhere every session to see the forum?
GravitonSurge: I dont know what php is capable of
146763477: Oh, you can do anything with PHP, but I don't want to build something from scratch
GravitonSurge: how feasible is a blog function? it is basically against everything I believe in, but members might like it. see example: http://forums.narutofan.com/blog.php?u=101654
GravitonSurge: or here http://forums.narutofan.com/blog.php?u=33926
146763477: I just don't see a reason for it. If you want to blog, use Live Journal or myspace.
146763477: You can provide a link in your profile
GravitonSurge: because for some of them zelaron is their main blog/outlet as it is
146763477: I still don't think it'd be very usefull
GravitonSurge: well how hard would it be to install
GravitonSurge: is it worth just trying
146763477: I don't think so.
GravitonSurge: would someone else think so
146763477: I doubt it
146763477: Any of the members likely to use it would rather post in the appropriate forum is the feeling I have
GravitonSurge: well, I tried! nevermind!
146763477: We're a close-knit group, so the separation of the blogs isn't really needed
146763477: It's not that I don't appreciate your suggestion, I just don't think it'll get used
[I apologize in advance, Chruser, but they should know]
[07:16] Zelaron: I want to attempt to install vBAdvanced, but I remember you said you've tinkered with it for a while, and it's incompatible with Synthesis
[07:17] WetWired: We've had a portal before; it wasn't all that useful
[07:18] Zelaron: Indeed, and yes, I agree. I am, however, confident that it can and will be useful now.
[07:19] Zelaron: The last one didn't have any board compatibility aside from the news, which you could read on the forum anyway. It was just eye candy that served no purpose, not to mention that it was search-engine incompatible
[07:22] Zelaron: vBAdvanced is significantly better, because not only does it let us add modular pages to it, everything is compatible with the forum and will remove some aspects of stagnation from the community.
[07:24] Zelaron: So it's not even worth a try?
[07:25] WetWired: I didn't say that, I'm just saying that if you don't have any plans for what you do with it once you have it, it's pretty stupid
Zelaron: if you didn't read what I said above, basically, I kind of convinced WW to add a zelaron portal "if its reasons are good enough"
Zelaron: WW would likely disapprove. How dreadfully unfortunate.
146763477: You there?
146763477: Why'd you temp ban all those people?
GravitonSurge: so they could revel together
GravitonSurge: I feel like I'm at work talking to him
GravitonSurge: talking to my boss
GravitonSurge: except my boss is less of a PITA
GravitonSurge: I may leave zelaron soon
Zelaron: I believe you, k_a and I agree
Zelaron: we need to do something radical, asap
Zelaron: everything points toward the utmost demise of Zelaron
Zelaron: the visitor count is slowly declining, no new posts are made
Zelaron: old members are leaving
Zelaron: I am bored with the forum too
Zelaron: I have been bored with it for... a year?
GravitonSurge: my main problem is I am not even interested in talking to the people that are on the forum
Zelaron: I have told WW of its evident demise
GravitonSurge: the ones worth talking to, I talk to on AIM
Zelaron: I think the main purpose of the forum is to gather interesting people
Zelaron: and have the communicate
Zelaron: currently, we get pretty much all of our members from Google
Zelaron: and the content of the threads generally sucks
Zelaron: so we get visitors who search for stupid things
Zelaron: who sign up, and post more stupid things
Zelaron: and suddenly, we have a stupid forum
Zelaron: where morons go to post their hearts' contents
GravitonSurge: interesting theory?
Zelaron: well, it works that way
Zelaron: if we have tons of threads about travel, people who search for "paradise vacation", "cruises" and "unabomber" will come to our forum
Zelaron: you get what you put into it
Zelaron: he did target at least one airplane during his career, didn't he?
Zelaron: we could as well un-trash most threads at this rate
Zelaron: it'd increase seach engine hits due to more content
GravitonSurge: maybe those spambots will finally work FOR us!
Zelaron: rpgmaker has kind of faltered as well
Zelaron: either that, or we steal databases from other forums and inject the posts into Zelaron
Zelaron: personally, I'm in favor of doing some dramatic changes. It's just not particularly easy to find out what they are.
Zelaron: If that fails, I'm just going to leave the board running and hope it will by chance get interesting members, but I feel I've done just about everything for it then
Zelaron: unless, of course, we could get our own server
Zelaron: Perhaps we should get rid of all the hacks and start over?
GravitonSurge: I think we've said that a few times
GravitonSurge: so do it =p
Zelaron: unfortunately, there's no "DRASTIC CHANGE HACK" on vbulletin.org
Zelaron: getting that stupid store hack would be nice
Zelaron: but apparently WW... isn't doing it
GravitonSurge: nobody is doing anything
Zelaron: I'm not sure why, but it appears that he's the only guy who can do it.
Zelaron: I don't even know why I have received that impression
Zelaron: oh yeah
Zelaron: IT HAS TO BE LINKED TO THE ACTIVITY HACK!
Zelaron: and guess who the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD is who understands how that works?
GravitonSurge: ...? lol
GravitonSurge: whatever, fuck WW
Zelaron: nothing is happening to Zelaron right now
Zelaron: we have established this
GravitonSurge: yes, so, zelaron is boring?
Zelaron: pretty much
Zelaron: in fact
Zelaron: I think it would be beneficial to delete all board hacks, keep the posts, and start over with the default vB theme.
Zelaron: why? Because it's a god damn change
Zelaron: NOTHING is happening right now
Zelaron: and now WW's laptop fried as well, so the few changes we did have on the way (such as a store hack) aren't happening either, at least not for a while
Zelaron: oh yeah, I'm in Stockholm, and I can't get a connection at my place any longer
Zelaron: so I won't be online much for a few weeks either
GravitonSurge: I am sooooo tired of synthesis
Zelaron: well, we need... things
Zelaron: even if they're pointless, we need to show members that we are at least TRYING to change the board
Zelaron: "it works now; leave it be" makes it become about an interesting as a museum
Zelaron: but the visitor count has declined too
Zelaron: currently, we get around 700-800 unique visitors per day
Zelaron: which is... okay
Zelaron: but they're not posting
Zelaron: I say we enable anonymous (guest) posting for a while
Zelaron: although moderated.
Zelaron: [02:05] 146763477: If we allowed guests to post, we'd get 500 spam threads a day.
Zelaron: ugh, why must everything be so... hard?
Zelaron: [06:44] Zelaron: What do you think about vBSEO?
[06:45] 146763477: We don't have any new discussions about anything that anyone would be searching fore.
[06:46] Zelaron: Our 35,220 total discussions include things people are searching for.
[06:48] 146763477: Yeah, but they wouldn't join our community because we don't discuss them anymore. Besides, it may be a huge pain for us since we have to change the encoding of every URL, and we have huge ammounts of template customization
[06:48] Zelaron: Perhaps we don't discuss them because old threads get locked?
[06:49] 146763477: No, because people are no longer interested.
Zelaron: [06:52] Zelaron: Why wouldn't they be? A majority of our unique visitors find us on search engines. It's still difficult to sign up and post.
[06:53] Zelaron: Why don't we allow guests to post as long as they fill in a six character alphanumeric sequence shown on an image? (Similarly to the search on vbulletin.org)?
[06:59] Zelaron: I want to purchase a vBSEO license for $149 and allow guests to post after confirming their "human nature". If it doesn't accomplish anything, too bad. At the moment, we're not taking enough action against the decline in new, active members.
[07:00] 146763477: I really don't want to deal with something as big as vBSEO right now.
[07:02] Zelaron: I don't know how to install Zend anyway, so I can't try it myself.
[07:04] Zelaron: I backed up the database an hour ago, so I'd try it myself and take responsibility for it if anything goes wrong, but I don't have the privileges to install Zend.
[07:07] Zelaron: Privileges would be nice.
[07:08] 146763477: Even I would not be confident installing Zend, especially considering that we are out of contact with our hosting providers if something were to go wrong.
[07:09] Zelaron: John is online.
[07:09] 146763477: I don't see him
[07:09] Zelaron: workjallen
[07:09] Zelaron: he's away
[07:10] 146763477: I have that one on my list. he's offline
[07:10] Zelaron: Maybe he blocked you?
GravitonSurge: why is WW such a pain
Zelaron: I sent him a few of my thoughts
GravitonSurge: hows that
Zelaron: [07:14] Zelaron: I've requested datacenter contact info from John.
[07:15] Zelaron: Anything else I should ask for? I'm heading to bed soon.
[07:15] 146763477: It'd be nice to know if dotsimple changed hands and who I should talk to.
[07:16] Zelaron: I'll let you know tomorrow if I hear anything.
[07:31] Zelaron: The good thing about "trying out risky, new things" is that members see that you make an effort to transcendentalize the community, or "bringing it to the next level" if you wish. Even if the changes fail to become popular enough, they initially draw a lot of attention from members, who know the staff isn't going to sit around and wait for things to happen on their own. When have they ever?
Nothing against your hacks and improvements, the activity hack rules, and the large avatar will definitely make the current members more active. I want one of those too, now. Sup. modding K_A and Lenny was likely a great call. But will new members sign up for any of that? No. Will they sign up if we get better search engine rankings? I don't know, maybe. I don't think there are any set-in-stone formulas for gaining new, active members. I just know we're not getting any.
We built a good member base in the past, and I don't see anything at all that keeps us from doing that now. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we kind of... stop taking chances a year and a half ago or so, when the board seemed to "work on its own"? It's like, we have this machine which seems to work fine without any maintenance, but in reality, it is on a slow descent into a deep grave.
Zelaron: [07:34] Zelaron: It's not about "installing radical hacks", it's about making significant changes that WILL MOST LIKELY improve the community, bring members together, give them totally new features to try out and such.
[07:35] Zelaron: a new Zelaron Melee is a good start, and it's relatively simple to get it started.
[07:38] Zelaron: but it's not enough. We're the ones in power to change the community, and find out what it takes to make it "fucking awesome".
[07:38] Zelaron: Enough 7:40 am rambling for now.
[07:43] Zelaron: Sure, if the "change" formula I realize we've used for the first three years of the board's existence suddenly doesn't work any longer, let me know, but right now, I am convinced it is still the best chance we have got of getting anywhere.
[07:43] Zelaron: Thoughts?
[07:50] Zelaron: (The premise is obviously that anything like this would be done AFTER the proper contact information is obtained, so the server doesn't get unusable for weeks on end in the worst case scenario.)
Zelaron: there is probably a ton of grammatical flaws in there, I shouldn't stay up all night as often :-)
Zelaron: maybe he'll kick us off the server now or something, who knows?
Zelaron: because I get the feeling that he doesn't agree with me.
GravitonSurge: i know he doesnt
Zelaron: I get the "it is futile to proceed any further. The board works flawlessly, and it shall continue to work this way forever, because I am an immortal robot" vibe from him.
Zelaron: I don't even have the administrative access to perform the changes I want.
Zelaron: I can't really touch the server.