IMPORTANT: Members only forum

A section to chat about whatever takes your fancy about BOINC, the projects and the team in general. For general queries about the UBT Forum, please post a message here. Likewise, any suggestions for making the forum better...
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UBT - Timbo
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IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby UBT - Timbo » Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:44 pm

Edit: 13th Dec 2016

This topic has been split so that this part (below) is now in the Public Team Cafe section, whilst the previous paragraph is now in the non-members section.

Previously:
As from 1st November 2016, for a trial period of ONE MONTH, this forum will become accessible only to people who register their membership.

This is for a number of reasons:

1) We want to see who is visiting our forum and whether it is generating any interest in BOINC - we cannot monitor "guests" or "visitors" so if this forum has a value, then we might see more interest from members, if they have to sign in.

2) We want to limit the amount of spambots visiting - a membership only forum might help stop spambots posting unwanted comments on our forum.

3) We want to encourage NEW members to join up and add their input to the forum. In asking people to register, then we hope to ensure that the forum can evolve, based on a wider range of opinions.

We have operated an "open view" forum for a long time...but as we've recently upgraded the forum, so now we want to see whether it is a "worthwhile" resource to have - and what effect it will have becoming a members only forum.

After the trial has finished, a decision will be made about either extending the trial, or making the change permanent...or going back to being on "open view". This will be decided by the admin of the forum, in consultation with existing forum members.

If you have a comment to make then please let me know.

regards
Tim
Founder, UK BOINC Team

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UBT - Timbo
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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby UBT - Timbo » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:20 pm

Hi all,

The forum has now been "private" and accessible only by forum members for a month (as it became members only in mid November - 2 weeks later than I planned).

From my POV, the amount of spammy posts AND membership requests has decreased markedly (which reduces my workload), plus we've also gained a number of new UBT crunchers as members of the forum...so, this validates the reasons for making it private (ie to limit spambots/fake accounts and to coax people to join).

I would like to carry on this trial, esp over the Xmas/NY period, when more people are likely to be at home, surfing the net, plus there's also more chance of spambots (if the forum history is anything to go by).

So I'd like to take a straw poll from members about where we go from here...and if there is a general consensus to continue the trial, say, until the middle of January and we can then see if the trend continues :-).

Feel free to reply here or if you prefer, PM me.

regards
Tim

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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby nick » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:10 pm

naw keep it private and new users request access. Real people will take the extra time to get on here.

Not sure if you have already done this or if you can even do this from the major projects, is to contact members that crunch for us that are not members on here and ask them to sign up and keep up to date.
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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby UBT - Timbo » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:08 pm

nick wrote:naw keep it private and new users request access. Real people will take the extra time to get on here.


Hi Nick

Thanks for your feedback - much appreciated.

Not sure if you have already done this or if you can even do this from the major projects, is to contact members that crunch for us that are not members on here and ask them to sign up and keep up to date.


The current situation is this:

1) When the new forum was generated out of the old one, this time last year, one of the NEW features was that it had an internal mailing capability.

I used this as a "one-off" to advise people of the new URL. But the limitation is of course that only forum members are emailed.

2) I then took some time to grab a load of usernames and email addresses from the projects where I am the founder. and then tried to collate them all into a single CSV, which I then imported into MailChimp...but the issue with them is that you can only email up to 2000 users on their "free" account, and the list I had was over 5000...so, that wasn't an option....and of course I didn't know which member was active and which wasn't.

3) I then found a really nice mailing list program, which I installed on the website, and I tried this once...but despite the setting up being correct (or as near as I think it was), it tried to send emails all at once...which made my hosting provider angry...and even though I reset the options, it was tricky to send them in batches, without incurring more wrath from the hosting people.

4) A few weeks ago, I resurrected the idea and posted a question about importing and collating email address lists from the projects and comparing that to the list of active crunchers...with the idea of making two lists: one of active crunchers who need to be informed about current team issues...and the second list comprising team members who have stopped crunching. Mark was very kind enough to create me a template, which works fine as far as working with lists already "grabbed" manually from the projects.

So, that is where I am now...and once I have found a wee bit of time to collate all the email addys, ideally in real time, maybe via a macro/look up script?, then I can simply generate the CSV files I need to import into the mailing list program and use that.

Ideally, I want to use Excel to interrogate the team list info on various project websites, then compile a list of active and inactive members, then compare that with a "list" of members taken off the ubtstats.co.uk website

The more it can be automated the better....as there's enough work for me to do anyways (at home and at work !!).

regards
Tim

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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby nick » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:38 am

you can always do it as a survey with http://www.surveymonkey.co.uk i think their free account has no limit the the emails sent. just ask a few questions and add the sign up link.
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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby UBT - Timbo » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:51 am

Hi Nick

Thanks for that - I'll take a lookie at it over Xmas and see if can be put to some good use :-)

regards
Tim

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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby UBT - Timbo » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:54 pm

Hi all

As I promised, it's time to review whether we should keep the forum "members only" or open it up again and make some or all of it public.

Some background stats.

During 2011, we had 45 new member registrations. For 2012, it was 21 and for 2013 it was 23.
Around 2014, member registration fell to just 11 across the year - this was because the forum became broken somehow and would be members couldn't use the automated system to register. In 2015, it still wasn't fixed so we had 3 new members (and one of those was an extra admin account for me).

From Jan-mid Nov 2016 (11½ months), with a repaired and updated forum, we had 23 registrations and from mid-Nov to date (2 months), we've had 16 new registrations.

So, I'm of the opinion that we should keep it a members only forum and see how it goes until say July (2017) and then review again. By then I would hope to find some time to see if a "headers only" capability can be made to work, so that non-members can see topic subjects, but cannot see the actual posts themselves (unless they register).

If that can work satisfactorily, then we can perhaps use that to help entice people to become members?

As always, please get in touch if you have any comments/suggestions. :-)

regards
Tim

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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby wkdwill » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:12 pm

Hi Tim,

It's always nice to see the numbers grow :)

I don't know how in depth the stats are for the forum, but can you see how many of the new members come back (log in) regularly

I haven't been here long, but I can see there is a small core of very active members that post regularly, it would be great to see that number increase.

Will
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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby UBT - Timbo » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:25 pm

Hi Will

Thanks for the message - yup - it's a better sign, if people have to sign in and hence I can see that the forum is being used.

Without requiring people to log in (which I accept can be a nuisance), there isn't any other way (that I know of) to see if the forum is actually being used. Of course one can count the number of postings, but that isn't really a true reflection on how many people stop by and take a gander.

We've always had a "small core" of members who keep things ticking over...though quite a few of the "early adopters" have fallen by the wayside now. :-( But that's life and peoples priorities change along the way.

regards
Tim

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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby melter65 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:32 am

Hey Timbo, way to go on making me feel guilty, "though quite a few of the "early adopters" have fallen by the wayside" :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: IMPORTANT: Members only forum

Postby Woodles » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:06 am

melter65 wrote:Hey Timbo, way to go on making me feel guilty, "though quite a few of the "early adopters" have fallen by the wayside" :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


If the cap fits .... :D


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