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crackers
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:16 am    Post subject: How about... Reply with quote

Changing the default set-up of the forum to limit posting rights to registered users? It would greatly reduce the amount of spam.

this phpbb site explains how to do it.
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Carol Kimball
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Kathleen and I have discussed it. You're right that limiting access would mean spammers having to take the extra step to register, and might cut down some of the traffic.
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Kathleen F.
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Joined: 08 Sep 2005
Posts: 11405
Location: NM Albuquerque

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I've been saying forever, I need to upgrade the software used in this forum. I'll be getting a for-pay package because I'm just not happy with phbb in general. At that time, I'll also be closing off the forum and limiting membership strictly to those who have the book. I've been putting it off because I don't look forward to the howls of outrage I'm sure to get from people who will be excluded.

The other thing is, I do want to include a mechanism whereby enthusiasts can participate because they've contributed some really cool stuff in the past (back before the forum was hacked). I don't know how to fairly manage their inclusion because I don't think they should necessarily have to buy the book.

btw, thanks Cracker. I went ahead and changed all the permissions. The interface of Phpbb is so cumbersome.
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J C Sprowls



Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Posts: 2004

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: keeping contributors who don't necessarily have the book...

Does PHPBB allow you to query the posting activity of the users? I mean, if you create a list of the top 100 and then drop out those you know who own the book, will this create a starting point? Admittedly, I don't know of any way to avoid protests, entirely.

Do you trust your memory? Perhaps if you surveyed some of those contributors who don't have the book to ask what they consider to be a fair subscription price? It will give you an opportunity to explain the business decision you need to make and you can weigh their feedback during your decision process?
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Alison Cummins
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Joined: 17 Dec 2005
Posts: 2300
Location: Canada QC Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:43 am    Post subject: Confession: I don't have the book! Reply with quote

I'm not a DE and I'm short on cash, like most people. Plus DH has put my credit card somewhere for safekeeping. But I probably should, if I'm going to contribute to the forum: it would make sure I don't ask basic questions that have already been covered, for instance.

Perhaps that's what I could ask for at Christmas...
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Carol Kimball
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Crackers' suggestion (first post) -

You're right. This has dropped the spam down to almost nothing. Thanks for suggesting it, Crackers, and for setting it up, Kathleen!
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crackers
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kathleen fasanella wrote:
At that time, I'll also be closing off the forum and limiting membership strictly to those who have the book. I've been putting it off because I don't look forward to the howls of outrage I'm sure to get from people who will be excluded.

The other thing is, I do want to include a mechanism whereby enthusiasts can participate because they've contributed some really cool stuff in the past (back before the forum was hacked). I don't know how to fairly manage their inclusion because I don't think they should necessarily have to buy the book.


I'm glad to see you changed it.

On the other hand, kathleen, forgive me, but the idea that you would restrict the forum to owners of the book is not smart. Closed communities on the internet do not grow quickly if at all: open communities with active dialogues and limited barriers to entry are by far the most active and vibrant. If you want this to pay for itself, either through advertising or sponsorship, getting more users is vital. There arent enough active posters on the forum to make the site all that vibrant, and any further limit would probably kill it.

Just as a case in point, I was visiting the forum for months before I bought your book. I would never have bothered buying the book if the only content I had access to was the blog.

On the other hand, you could set up a locked aka hidden or private forum that would be restricted to paying (ie book owning) members.
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Kathleen F.
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Joined: 08 Sep 2005
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Location: NM Albuquerque

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note: Even tho I changed the config, I just now deleted a guest post. Phpbb leaves a lot to be desired.

crackers wrote:
On the other hand, kathleen, forgive me, but the idea that you would restrict the forum to owners of the book is not smart. Closed communities on the internet do not grow quickly if at all: open communities with active dialogues and limited barriers to entry are by far the most active and vibrant. If you want this to pay for itself, either through advertising or sponsorship, getting more users is vital. There arent enough active posters on the forum to make the site all that vibrant, and any further limit would probably kill it.


First, it's not money that is motivating me but the qualityand level of discussion.

Believe me, I know what you're saying. Still, on the other hand, people who have the book get irritated with people who don't have it for asking questions they consider to be really basic. There is the feeling that they should invest in themselves rather than expecting everybody else to spoon feed them the answers. It is an issue of responsibility and professionalism. Yeah, you can find boards out there with tons of discussion but the quality is really low.

There's the issue that we need to raise the level of discussion. Maybe a solution is a separate forum for book owners because I know that they don't want to post their most privilged information where just anyone can access it. I know for a fact that having it accessible to anyone is a chilling effect (I'm not posting good information myself for exactly that reason). Maybe I should have two forums but I don't think the non-book owners forum is going to get much traffic from the more experienced people.
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J C Sprowls



Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Posts: 2004

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:30 pm    Post subject: Content Management and Subscription Levels Reply with quote

While I'm not proposing a huge investment at this stage, I do propose there may be a solution similar to Iventa's that might be worth keeping your eye on.

It's an uncertainty whether the more experienced folks will play in other sandboxes; but, that is difficult to antipicate. I suspect several of us will, especially those with teaching or coaching experience - it's something that's in the blood.

Would you feel comfortable talking about your vision for FI, offline? Or, would you like to collaborate with the group?
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Kathleen F.
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Joined: 08 Sep 2005
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Location: NM Albuquerque

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Content Management and Subscription Levels Reply with quote

jsprowls9 wrote:
Would you feel comfortable talking about your vision for FI, offline? Or, would you like to collaborate with the group?


Oh, I'm perfectly fine talking about it here in front of everybody. The forum didn't used to be like it is now. People really got burnt/shy after the forum was hacked. It was an incredible loss. I want what we had back. That means security. Not many people are "investing" in the ways they were before because the integrity of the site remains in doubt. I need to provide a secure environment so they won't feel their investment and input is a waste. I feel the same way. It's not that I sit and ruminate over what we lost but it still hurts. People put an awful lot of themselves into it and it's just gone. I never want that to ever happen again. It takes time to build community. Out of anyone, I'd know that!

So yes, feel free to quiz me at your leisure. I have a hard time defining goals sometimes. Maybe your questions can make my intentions and motivations clear. It's not a money thing. It's a trust building thing.
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J C Sprowls



Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Posts: 2004

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kathleen fasanella wrote:
Maybe your questions can make my intentions and motivations clear.

Remember... you axed for it :-)

Let's focus on readership, for today:

What information or statistcis are available on your blog readership?

Do you have the ability to determine which percentage of your blog readers are plant operators, DEs, micro-business owners, hobbyists, and lurkers?

Are there categories of readers you would add/drop from this list?

How do you define each of these categories (please be as specific as you can be - we'll shape the definition over time).

What are the percentages (i.e. distribution of readership) as of the 1st of the month?

Do you have the ability to download/export the blog's site statistics for the past 6 months? How easy/difficult is this process?

What statistics (if any) are available on comment activity? Can you count the comments a user posted by date?

If you can export, would you please email me the blog and comment statistics in .xls or .html format? I'd like to perform some trend analysis for future discussion.

What information can we analyze from the bulletin board? Are there any reports (e.g. username, date, count, subject) available?
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Kathleen F.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jsprowls9 wrote:
What information or statistcis are available on your blog readership?


I use awstats which comes with my service. I can get total headcount, new visitor stats, number of pages, number of hits, number who bookmark it, browser used, display size, hits by country, most popular search phrases used to find the site. MT itself stores search phrases used on the site itself. That is great information to narrow down what users want.

Quote:
Do you have the ability to determine which percentage of your blog readers are plant operators, DEs, micro-business owners, hobbyists, and lurkers?


No. I'd have to do a survey for that and still, that wouldn't tell the whole story.

Quote:
Are there categories of readers you would add/drop from this list?


Yes. I'd add employees of larger enterprises (even upper management and owners -they write me sometimes). I'd also add independent service providers like pattern makers, sample makers etc. Also some PR people and mostly, other internet media folks.

Quote:
How do you define each of these categories (please be as specific as you can be - we'll shape the definition over time).


Your definition was fine.

Quote:
What are the percentages (i.e. distribution of readership) as of the 1st of the month?


I don't understand the question. My stats display by month. The 1st is effectively zero.

Quote:
Do you have the ability to download/export the blog's site statistics for the past 6 months? How easy/difficult is this process?


The easy way would be copy/paste into a spreadsheet. It'd kind of be a pain since I'd have to go through various screens. It wouldn't be worth it to copy *all* the stats, the biggies would be sufficient to show exponential growth. Roughly, I'm getting the daily traffic today of what I was getting per month a year ago. Iow, an increase of 3,000% over a year ago.

Quote:
What statistics (if any) are available on comment activity? Can you count the comments a user posted by date?


Yep but it'd be a pain. I don't see how that'd be useful (commensurate with the effort required).

Quote:
If you can export, would you please email me the blog and comment statistics in .xls or .html format? I'd like to perform some trend analysis for future discussion.


I don't know what you mean by "blog statistics". The blog stats and the awstats are very different. They measure entirely different things. The blog stats aren't available in such a way to facilitate analysis. If you can tell me what you mean by "trend analysis", that would help. Some posts tend to attract more comments than others. That's easy. You can scroll down the page and see those, iow which posts tend to collect comments. The more technical (managerial wise) a post, the fewer comments. The more hands on or project oriented (sewing or pattern wise) a post, the higher the comments. Also, one of the most useful things (list of search phrases used on site) is something you're not asking for.

Quote:
What information can we analyze from the bulletin board? Are there any reports (e.g. username, date, count, subject) available?


The very bottom of the screen will tell you how many posts have been made in the forum as well as the number of users. There's also a membership list available to anyone for viewing (header menu). This list will also tell you how many posts each user has made. You don't need my help for that.[/i]
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J C Sprowls



Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Posts: 2004

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kathleen fasanella wrote:
Also, one of the most useful things (list of search phrases used on site) is something you're not asking for.

Even better! That's almost as good as surveying folks to ask what they want - they're already telling you what they're looking for when they browsed into your site.

I was going to also ask for "from" and "to" site when they come to you; but, that was further down on my list. Quit reading ahead! :-)

If statistics are too difficult to obtain, then it's better to work with the canned reports available from the system.

So, we've identified the following categories of users. Let's describe them in detail (I know it seems elementary, but it's healthy):

DEs -

Micro-business Owners -

Hobbyists -

Executive Leadership -

Plant Operators - the non-executives, for example: supervisor(s), staff patternmakers, staff stitchers, staff samplemakers, staff designers, staff illustrators, etc

Professional Services - people who contract services to industry providers, for example: pattern makers, illustrators, process/procedure analysts, etc

Retail Operators ? -

Public Relations/Media (Professional) -

Public Relations/Media (Amateur) -

Lurkers -

By trend analysis, I was hoping to be able to tie keywords from comments to each particular group we're defining above. I wanted to see what they are contributing v. what you are delivering. But, that's OK to not get that information - there's an easier and lower tech solution to be explored, here.
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