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  • A few announcements

    I have an announcement to make, but just wanted first take a moment to thank everyone that has been a part of the Koi-Bito family for what has become almost 18 years now. Over this time, maintaining the forum has posed some challenges most of which I've been able to overcome. Recently however, the challenges have been building up and have been threefold:
    1. A persistent and growing number of spam registrations, which requires a considerable amount of time to delete, track, ban, etc.
    2. Forum software that has grown exceedingly old, and will not run on the newer php framework that my hosting company has made standard. I've just received notice that they will not allow the older version that we currently use to run the forum software to run on their servers anymore.
    3. You may have noticed that some text formatting such as apostrophes do not get parsed correctly and text formatting is not clean like it used to be. This is due to an older php version not working well with the newer database page code. Nothing we can do to fix that at this version.

    So after some long and careful thought, I've made a decision... I'm going to completely upgrade the system to a newer version of the forum software and the rework a lot of the underlying components that have been cobbled together to make it work.
    (Betcha thought this was the announcement to say that I was shutting the forum down, didn't you?)

    Well, I definitely plan to keep the forum going into the foreseeable future.

    Over the upcoming week, I will need to take the system offline to perform all of the underlying upgrades and strip the system of unneeded components that are no longer developed or supported.

    The site could be offline anywhere from 6 hours to 2 days depending on how difficult a task it proves to be. Outside of the code and upgrade, there is also the design element that needs to be addressed and the new forum software does not support the old format, so it needs to be done again from scratch.

    Once we're upgraded, you may see the site come online using the plain VB skin/template and the site will not look like its usual self. We will work on bringing that design over too, hopefully at the same time but if not then a few days later. The new software is actually a lot nicer to use and the editor might take a little getting used to is a bit more modern and more functional than the current one.

    Hopefully, you will grow to like it. You should also be able to login via your Facebook account as well, but I need to do some testing with that likely to get it to work. (Still testing this FB login part, as it seems to populate the database with non-personal metadata from FB which is really increasing the size)

    That's pretty much it, and I hope that the forum will pick up and experience new growth. I do plan on starting to write articles again, this time in electronic format and free to all.

    Oh yeah, one more thing... Be ready for a pretty exciting announcement from me concerning koi and the future within the next 6 weeks.
    Last edited by Brian; 02-26-2020, 02:20 PM.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum
  • #2

    Yes indeed I was "afeared" you were going to pull the plug. Thanks be to God that is not the case!
    Good luck with all the upgrades!!!! Much thanks for taking on that work!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

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    • #3

      Couldnt help but have a little fun. ;-)

      Have the design issues mostly worked out, so the migration will likely take place over the next two days. Site will need to be down for a while during this time. When you access the site, you should see a message stating that the site is down for maintenance.



      Once it is back online again, we will be at the new version and you will be able to login using your same password as before.
      Brian Sousa
      Koi-Bito Forum

      Comment

      • #4

        Activity is certainly minimal anymore. All internet forums, from stamp collecting to customizing cars, are at a low ebb. (So are hobby clubs of all types.) Nonetheless, people still go to forums to find reliable information. They search, but do not post. FB groups is where the action is, but these engender mostly pretty pictures without much discussion/learning. It is foolhardy to rely on a few FB responses made before a query falls too low to get noticed, unless you know the people responding and have confidence in them. Why has FB won out when it is inferior for discussion/learning? I have my theories, but it is too difficult to express them without offending someone.

        Comment

        • #5

          Sometimes in koi keeping we NEED to offend someone. LOL. ;-)
          Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

          Comment

          • #6

            Originally posted by MikeM View Post
            Activity is certainly minimal anymore. All internet forums, from stamp collecting to customizing cars, are at a low ebb. (So are hobby clubs of all types.) Nonetheless, people still go to forums to find reliable information. They search, but do not post. FB groups is where the action is, but these engender mostly pretty pictures without much discussion/learning. It is foolhardy to rely on a few FB responses made before a query falls too low to get noticed, unless you know the people responding and have confidence in them. Why has FB won out when it is inferior for discussion/learning? I have my theories, but it is too difficult to express them without offending someone.

            It certainly is minimal. Just as you say FB is largely to blame for that, and for a variety of reasons. Probably largest among them is that people are already there for other purposes so that's become their preferred medium of dissemination for information and news. None of which seems to run very deep, again just like you say.

            That format just doesn't lend itself to any sort of depth, nor does it allow the information to be easily recalled for others to learn from later on.

            I had originally thought that FB would cater more to a crowd that was a little more transient in the hobby and that were just dipping their toes in. Boy was I wrong about that! Between FB and Twitter, they have become the go-to place for announcements for clubs, shows, and anyone doing business would be missing some low-hanging fruit.

            One big draw is that almost everyone already has an FB account and that they access it daily for other social purposes. If you're already there and see a post, much easier to hop in and comment than to go off to a forum. With that being said, there's more there to get you off focus and the conversations don't run very deep.

            Getting prepared for the upgrade, I had to sort through a number of old threads and fix some broken associations. There really is a wealth of knowledge here that has been accumulated over the years. It made me realize that even in a world flooded with social media activity, that forums still have a place. Even if only as a repository of this knowledge and a chance for the newcomer to uncover and ask some follow up questions, if the original poster or participants are still active.

            Hopefully, things will pickup a bit. You can share posts now on both FB and Twitter by clicking the corresponding link under your avatar. That may bring a few new folks in, but I'm not expecting an Exodus from FB any time soon.

            Would be interested in hearing your theories though Mike, because as MCA says:

            Sometimes in koi keeping we NEED to offend someone. LOL. ;-)

            Last edited by Brian; 02-26-2020, 02:12 PM.
            Brian Sousa
            Koi-Bito Forum

            Comment

            • #7

              I'm glad to see you're still chugging along Brian! I hope all is going well. It's been a while. 2008 was the last time I think I saw you. Your girls must be in college or finished? I was scheduled to go to Japan on the 5th but with the uncertainty of being quarantined upon my return scared me enough not to go.

              Comment

              • #8

                Originally posted by koinut View Post
                I'm glad to see you're still chugging along Brian! I hope all is going well. It's been a while. 2008 was the last time I think I saw you. Your girls must be in college or finished? I was scheduled to go to Japan on the 5th but with the uncertainty of being quarantined upon my return scared me enough not to go.
                Hi Rob!

                Thanks for the well wishes, and yes it's been a long time. Both girls will either be in or finished with college soon. Sorry to hear your Japan plans got put on hold. Consider what's going on at the moment, probably not a bad decision to postpone.

                Hopefully things will get back to normal soon and we'll have a great Summer ahead!
                Brian Sousa
                Koi-Bito Forum

                Comment

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