2003-2004 DCSki Survey Discussions
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Scott - DCSki Editor
March 3, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
Hi folks! I will be posting the results of the 2003-2004 DCSki Survey soon, and am creating this thread as a place where the results can be discussed. Feel free to talk about any aspects of the survey once the results are posted. (The "top story" on the front page of DCSki will be updated to point to the survey results when they are posted -- hopefully later tonight.)

Thanks!

- Scott

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
March 4, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Scott:

Do you have the funds to upgrade the forum software this summer? If not, perhaps you should pass the hat and encourage forum participants to donate a few dollars, so you can make this upgrade. I think someone commented about this in the survey. It wasn't me, but I do think it is a valid issue.

Scott - DCSki Editor
March 4, 2004
Member since 10/10/1999 🔗
1,139 posts
Hi John!

I think I can come up with the funds, but the main issue I'm debating with now is the best way to upgrade the forums.

DCSki's Message Forums are currently based on a product named UBB.classic by Infopop. It has worked well over the years, and hasn't had any security problems. (Believe me, security problems are a thing that keeps webmasters from sleeping at night!) But obviously there are new features I would like to make available to DCSki readers.

I have experience with many other forum packages through other projects I've worked on (such as phpbb2), but for DCSki I'm leaning towards sticking with a solution from Infopop as I've been happy with the company and that provides the best chance of preserving all of the current messages in the forums as we move to something new, something I consider important.

There are two options with Infopop: a program called UBB.threads (basically what we have now on steroids), or something they call Eve. Eve is hosted on their own servers and costs a lot more over the long-run (it's a monthly fee), but provides some added options, such as member photo albums, real-time chat rooms, and the ability to have "premium" memberships (something that has been recommended by DCSki users in the past).

I worry about a forum hosting plan (vs. running the software on my own server) for a few reasons. DCSki has its own dedicated server, and performance hasn't been an issue. I can certainly host forum software on my own server, and that way I know I won't lose messages -- if the company goes out of business, raises their rates higher than I can afford, etc. I worry about being able to preserve DCSki's message threads long into the future as there's a lot of valuable information in them.

On the other hand, there are some advantages to using a separate company's server for the forums. Because they would be on a separate server, there would be some redundancy for DCSki -- if the main server crashed or were being upgraded, folks could still reach the forums, and vice-versa. And presumably the company would worry about backing up the forums on their own server, applying security patches and feature upgrades, etc.

So, the answer isn't obvious to me. Any feedback from DCSki readers would be welcome. (If you want to check out the options in more detail yourself, visit www.infopop.com.)

In terms of funding the upgrade, I stashed away some advertising revenue last fall and earmarked it for a forum upgrade. (Whitetail is the current sponsor of the DCSki Message Forum, and all of DCSki's sponsors and advertisers truly do make the site possible. I couldn't afford to run the site without their generosity.) The advertising well generally runs dry for many months at the end of the ski season, but one way readers can help out is to look at the Google ads that show up on the lefthand side of many pages (such as news articles) and, if you see a link that interests you, click on it. DCSki gets a few cents for each click-through. (But only click them if you're genuinely interested in them -- I like Google's system and don't want it to be abused.)

Thanks!

- Scott

[This message has been edited by Scott (edited 03-04-2004).]

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
March 4, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,926 posts
Scott:

The ability for members to post photos would be very useful. However, I don't know if you need to use Eve to achieve that desired end. Cost and content control issues suggest that UBB.threads might be the better solution for now. As an interim solution on the photo issue, you might consider setting up a photo album somewhere else on the site where users can post photos. However, an integrated forum/photo program is the best bet long-term. Photos are one of things I like best about the Epicski forum. It's one thing to talk about how steep a trail is but another thing altogether to show readers a photo. For an example, check out this Fernie thread:

http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=17;t=002343

Dynamic links are another must for this forum. Members need to have the ability to post a link that fellow members can easily click through to get to another web site.

Finally, I'd like to see a private messaging capability for people on the forum to communicate privately.

PS These are meant to be suggestions and not criticisms. We greatly appreciate what you are doing with this site. It's success has much to do with how you run it: keeping things honest and interesting without being nasty or uncivil. That's a tough balance to strike.

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 03-04-2004).]

(Anonymous)
March 4, 2004
http://forum.cs.vt.edu ~ this is ran on Linux and is completely free forum software. The forum.cs.vt.edu is just an example-- this software allows for themes, ldap authentification, etc.
bawalker
March 4, 2004
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Scott,

Are you familiar with InvisionBoard? Feature wise they include everything that everyone has asked for with private messaging and a ton of features. I have dealt heavily in installing this board before for my own clients. I also just found that they do have a UBB.thread convertor available for download to convert the UBB database. You can check tha tout here:

http://forums.invisionpower.com/index.php?showtopic=98292

Cost wise it is free for the unlimited trial but unsupported by the Invisionboard staff.

Trial - http://www.invisionboard.com/download.cgi?subc=trial

There are paid subscriptions for $199 for a lifetime for a $69 for a yearly subscription. These also include chat features, and much more advanced features. Information for the paid version can be found here - http://www.invisionboard.com/download.cgi

Mind you that is for your own server hosting without having to use InvisionBoards forum hosting.

Brad

(Anonymous)
March 4, 2004
Allright, you guys are on a thread thats way off the subject.Lets get with the program,shall we?The reason snowshoe has those wierd results is the fact that allthough they are the best in the region,people are imagining a basin side that is huge with the vert that the western terr has.After a 5 to 6 hour drive & all the hype they expect a little more.The people arriving from the south though Love it. SS has a place for the southern clientel but the balts & dc's are looking for....& need...MOUNT PORT CRAYON DEV NOW!!! "ALMOST HEAVEN" for all you people out there that dont know of the mtn that is close & HUGE!If we can get a buzzz going ,it will find its way to the developer & he will be more inclined to start the project.Sorry i got off the subject!
gatkinso
March 4, 2004
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Hmm - I am a Linux man myself however I confine my perversions to C++ - gcc and lately Intel's compiler - but it is simply amazing how much Free Stuff there is out there... with great quality to boot! (I actually contributed to the fray with an ethernet device driver a couple of years ago - my offering to the open source world.)

Then again this assumes that dcski.com is hosted on a platform where you can compile and run the various open source board packages that are out there - but if this is the case (something I will force my younger haX0r self to refrain from checking) than it is worth the time to check it out.

While it can be a pain to do (download make, autoconf, gcc, and then hope you don't have to build each of THEM - which just might require a bootstrap compiler of you don't have gcc already so you can compile gcc itself) the Price definatley is Right. And even so it is fun...

...but not as fun as tearing up Gravity leaving your snowboarding friends behind in your wake.

BRING ON ALMOST HEAVEN!

jimmy
March 5, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
I like the idea of a DCSKI day at various resorts; dynamic links in the forums would be great. All that linusinfopopubb stuff is way over my head....i still have to spell "smiley face" bcause i don't know where that yellow dot comes from.

That's all
Jimmy

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