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  1. #1
    Bloke with a smaller stick rod185651's Avatar
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    Lets Get the Forum back to where it belongs

    Hey Team,

    Apologies for the long read.

    Last weekend just gone I flew up to Brisbane to pick up a new fighter to ride while I continue the build of Parbola.

    I got picked up by Wackyrider from the airport and had a great night with him, his wife (Sarah) and we went out Ozzy's and had beers, pizza and spent the night talking bikes and various other subjects

    Both Ozzy and wacky offered me a bed to stay, and none of this would have happened if this forum didn't exist.

    Thanks to Si's vision for the ASF I have met, ridden, drank, argued with and have the pleasure of calling a friend to some of the most decent top blokes and bloketts ever.

    I would love to see the forum get back to the heydays of yesteryear and Let the madness begin! (again)

  2. #2
    ASF Gold Full Member LKC73's Avatar
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    I agree Rod, seems Facebook has taken over most forum based groups, and even though they have there place, I've always popped back to the forum as the main source of information. Even though I have had some time away from the forum, I'd check it almost daily.
    The demise of photobucket hasn't helped the forum, but there is always around that. Si said he is doing some major works to the forum, which will be interesting and should bring back some old folk and possibly new folks as well.
    Street Monster GSXR 7/11 water heater!
    Project R1 underway, The "Raven"

  3. #3
    Bloke with the stick Gix11's Avatar
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    Hey guys, I love the support and commitment to getting this happening again. Here is the full lowdown/history, the problem and the task ahead, grab a beer....

    Back in 2002 I created the first forum for ASF using an ASP.NET based platform (Microsoft server, as that is what I knew back then). This little forum then started to get bigger, so based on the demand I upgraded to a larger ASP.NET forum in 2003, and once this happened it all started getting very big!

    The 2003 forum carried on using the same ASP.NET application and started to get very bogged down in the following years with traffic and image storage etc. to the point that I had to start another server and domain just to host the image files. That is when we had to start the memberships to try and offset the massive cost of running both servers and maintaining the forum which also took hours every day.

    Fast forward to 2011 when Sen emailed me and said that there was another solution we could take as he worked with large websites for the government and knew of the most cost effective way of doing all this. So with his help, he migrated the whole forum database onto a new PHP (VBulletin) platform which was the best one of the day. This also meant we had to move to a Linux server to run the PHP forum. The cheapest way of running a large format PHP forum turned out to get a Virtual Private Server space on an un-managed Linux server in the U.S. The server itself had no control software added and everything was run from the command line (so only someone that worked directly with servers and knows direct commands could run the server - in this case Sen).

    Now let's get right up to today. The same server and software has now been in place since 2011. BUT, because I do not know how to update anything from the command line, it also means I cannot update the forum, which as we all know is now falling to bits around us and will not play with Firefox and has issues with anyone using Facebook as well. Sen helped me out so much back in 2011 and never charged me a cent for all his work, which I really appreciate, but you might also know that Sen had a massive challenge himself with cancer. All the while we were getting posts about the poor guy having to sell all his toys, not being able to ride again and other such stuff, so the last thing I could do was ask him to help out with a forum when he had this massive life changing issue on his plate. So to this day, I am kind of stuck in a hole not knowing what to do next! The last thing I thought of doing was trying to find someone that knew about command line use of Linux servers to transfer the whole website and database over to a new server that ran Cpanel so I could then at least have access to the files and system in a way I am familiar with and then look into updating everything to a new Forum software called Xenforo which seemed to be the best after doing some research, but then a new problem hit! Xenforo was in the middle of doing a massive update to version 2 and recommended nobody get version 1 with version 2 just around the corner. This was 2 years ago now and the release of version 2 is STILL not announced, plus it seems the developers are pulling the on in the project slowly. So yet another set back that just kicked me in the face.

    Up until 3-4 weeks ago, I had not heard from Sen at all, but he suddenly appeared in a post about Photobucket closing down. He mentioned he had just had a kid and was caught up looking after the mother and child for the first few months, but suggested he may be able to help once the storm died down (even though anyone that has ever had a kid knows it usually goes the other way - so I didn't hold my breath). What Sen did mention was there was a new forum platform called Discourse that seemed to be the new latest greatest, and after checking, it seems really good - plus it would mean we could also host our own images locally meaning we don't need to worry about 3rd party sites like Photobucket! The only thing is, I know little about what the system entails and it seems they are trying to get people to use their hosting service as well, so I'm not sure where to start as I was hoping to get our own servers to keep things moving at speed. So no idea what the set up cost is and no idea if we can run it independently. I will have to research it.

    So this leaves me at today with the following points:
    - The forum and database are still on the server in the U.S. just as it was in 2011
    - I am unable to update or move the forum and database myself
    - From reading, any transfer to a new forum platform will also cancel all memberships, which although there are only a few, are still supporting ASF to keep it running. If the numbers do not rejoin, I'm not sure if I can sustain the cost of the forum.
    - I am not 100% sure of what to do about new forum software or costs etc.
    - Facebook has taken everyone away from here as the forum is not mobile friendly and plays up
    - Facebook is also a limited resource for build threads and the whole platform is just a massive adverting shit hole. The dedicated few would most likely be keen to get back in here on their phones and we could maybe bring a few of the new guys over (that aren't 18-25 and think Facebook is god)
    - My own business is in the middle of a massive shake-up and I'm trying to find servers for my own stuff, so the timing is incredibly bad.

    I know that is a long winded reply, but I owe it to you guys to explain exactly what is going on and what is causing the delays etc. Trust me, I would really like to get everything back as it was AND incorporate the new social media features so I could use the forum as the primary location and feed the information back to Facebook, rather than the other way around.

    Let me know if you have any questions...

    Cheers

  4. #4
    ASF Basic Full Member
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    Si i am a relative newbie to the forum (2 years) but its the first thing i look at every day and have found it hugely useful for my own projects i also check facebook but its nothing compared to the forum. So all i can say is long live the forum and thank you Si for all your efforts and if it comes down to it i and i am sure others would be willing to put our hands in our pockets to help out.

  5. #5
    ASF Premium Full Member wackyrider's Avatar
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    Thanks for the detailed update Si. The current 'issues' with the current forum as it stands in my opinion are minimal, case in point i think that the forum was actually starting to gain momentum again however unfortunately timing with the Photobucket saga hit everyone meaning that we're all having issues uploading pics.

    I think, in the interim if we could find a way for people to upload pics in their threads, this would I think make the forum more useable again.

    Any other image hosting sites that anyone recommends?
    Live today, die tomorrow

  6. #6
    ASF Basic Full Member
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    Hey Si - I know that moving to Discourse would be the latest and greatest, but I think the risk involved with members having to rejoin may be too great - OSS has moved onto it's third platform (After it originally collapsed, it moved to the proboards and lived there and facebook, has now moved back to it's .info location), and while it was a very close knit and strong forum, it's taken a while for it to come back up to full strength after it's move "home". One of the things they did to try to force everyone to the current forum was locking the facebook group.

  7. #7
    Aussie Streetfighter Hooligan
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    I don't use fagbook much, I have a look and move on, I like forums.
    I haven't been In a position to be a member for quit a while and I'm sorry Si, I wouldn't have built my shitfighter without the info I stole from here,you don't need my sob story but shit can be hard sometimes.
    I will always be around the forum you have to ban me first... fuck fagbook

    2006 represent yo 111!!11!!11!!1!!!

  8. #8
    ASF Advertiser kev@vcm's Avatar
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    Rod as you know i took some time off here and Facebook but am glad i re joined and its a great place Si i will renew my membership soon mate and hit the merch stand as well

    Thank

  9. #9
    ASF Premium Full Member
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    Si

    my $0.02c

    i don't look at the ASF site on a mobile, perhaps tablet but definitely not mobile but I guess they are similar or the same.

    I find the photobucket issue the single biggest issue rather than compatibility with devices as I mostly look at the Forum on a PC.

    Having also experienced the complexities of a business and trying to keep abreast of the I.T. brigade and the fierceness of the changes that are taking place I can certainly feel your pain.

    i thought going to web based software instead of hosting on our own Server had fixed our particular issue but that in itself brings changes that are required and you sit back wondering whether you have taken the right approach.

    I'll be honest and this is my opinion only, I feel it's going to be a tough road ahead for the site and I fear the site may never experience the same as it had in the past unless a major cash infusion takes place which no doubt brings it's own problems or a unique relationship takes place not unlike the Sen situation.

    Good Luck and i'll continue to support as much as I can with my membership, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

  10. #10
    Bloke with the Pics Gitzy's Avatar
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    I miss this place, if you do start over Si, I'm happy to contribute best I can. Also happy to sit back down in front of the PC and reupload 30k+ photos in my collection.

  11. #11
    Bloke with the stick Gix11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpow View Post
    Si i am a relative newbie to the forum (2 years) but its the first thing i look at every day and have found it hugely useful for my own projects i also check facebook but its nothing compared to the forum. So all i can say is long live the forum and thank you Si for all your efforts and if it comes down to it i and i am sure others would be willing to put our hands in our pockets to help out.
    Thanks mate, I appreciate it.
    Just out of curiosity, do you use your computer every morning to visit ASF or something else?

  12. #12
    Bloke with the stick Gix11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wackyrider View Post
    Thanks for the detailed update Si. The current 'issues' with the current forum as it stands in my opinion are minimal, case in point i think that the forum was actually starting to gain momentum again however unfortunately timing with the Photobucket saga hit everyone meaning that we're all having issues uploading pics.

    I think, in the interim if we could find a way for people to upload pics in their threads, this would I think make the forum more useable again.

    Any other image hosting sites that anyone recommends?
    I could possibly try starting a new dedicated image domain and hosting the images myself again seeing as how the numbers have dropped. We had around 1million visits per month when it was at full swing, and that's what was killing us with images. I'll look into it.

  13. #13
    Bloke with the stick Gix11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GammaBoy View Post
    Hey Si - I know that moving to Discourse would be the latest and greatest, but I think the risk involved with members having to rejoin may be too great - OSS has moved onto it's third platform (After it originally collapsed, it moved to the proboards and lived there and facebook, has now moved back to it's .info location), and while it was a very close knit and strong forum, it's taken a while for it to come back up to full strength after it's move "home". One of the things they did to try to force everyone to the current forum was locking the facebook group.
    Yea, I hear what you are saying mate. The loss of memberships would really hit hard, but that is the dilemma I have: Keep the existing VBulletin Forum and update it to the latest version and keep the members, or, move to the latest and greatest forum that interacts with social media, uploads photos right from your phone like Facebook and has all the other bells and whistles to appeal to the masses, but then lose all the memberships and hope people rejoin or sign up.

    I used to talk to Simon at OldSkool quite a lot back in the day and we used to compare stories. I;m glad they are back in force. I would try and encourage the combination of the Facebook and here and try and lead people back here with the build threads etc. As they say, you can fight progress and get left behind, or join it and find solutions.

  14. #14
    Bloke with the stick Gix11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by latheboy View Post
    I don't use fagbook much, I have a look and move on, I like forums.
    I haven't been In a position to be a member for quit a while and I'm sorry Si, I wouldn't have built my shitfighter without the info I stole from here,you don't need my sob story but shit can be hard sometimes.
    I will always be around the forum you have to ban me first... fuck fagbook

    2006 represent yo 111!!11!!11!!1!!!
    Hey Doug .....
    I'm with you mate. I have only been playing with Facebook to see the potential. The ASF Facebook "website" (as they call it) not the group, has had posts that have attracted 180,000 people to them. 3300 people have started following it and more join every day with the posts. The average post gets 2000 people looking at it. These are the sort of stats we had at the forum, but the audience is further afield now (a lot from Europe & The States), which means is also opens up more interaction that could be focused this way (to the forum). It's definitely a fishing pond.

    You don't need to explain why you haven't been a member mate! Nobody is 'expected' to be one". Just showing up and getting involved is as good as.

    The bottom line is Facebook is easily accessible on the shitter or in the car, and that's the goal for the forum.

  15. #15
    Bloke with the stick Gix11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev@vcm View Post
    Rod as you know i took some time off here and Facebook but am glad i re joined and its a great place Si i will renew my membership soon mate and hit the merch stand as well

    Thank
    I'll have to buy some merch first mate! That's another money issue all together....

    I'll look into the NFR shirts soon.

    Thanks for sticking with us Kev.

  16. #16
    Bloke with the stick Gix11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hagarr View Post
    Si

    my $0.02c

    i don't look at the ASF site on a mobile, perhaps tablet but definitely not mobile but I guess they are similar or the same.

    I find the photobucket issue the single biggest issue rather than compatibility with devices as I mostly look at the Forum on a PC.

    Having also experienced the complexities of a business and trying to keep abreast of the I.T. brigade and the fierceness of the changes that are taking place I can certainly feel your pain.

    i thought going to web based software instead of hosting on our own Server had fixed our particular issue but that in itself brings changes that are required and you sit back wondering whether you have taken the right approach.

    I'll be honest and this is my opinion only, I feel it's going to be a tough road ahead for the site and I fear the site may never experience the same as it had in the past unless a major cash infusion takes place which no doubt brings it's own problems or a unique relationship takes place not unlike the Sen situation.

    Good Luck and i'll continue to support as much as I can with my membership, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
    Hey Danny. What's the main difference with the tablet and the phone mate? Is it just the small screen size of the phone makes it difficult to read? That is what I am trying to combat with the new forum software . It would be responsive. Click this link on your phone and try reading the thread of posts:http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/vi...hp?f=6&t=95935 - does that seem easier? They are using the latest version of our software - Vbulletin. The strange thing is that so are Custom Fighters, yet their forum does not seem to be responsive either, yet they have still got the same traffic and the most of any Streetfighter forum.

    So again, the loading of photos is your main concern. This is good info.

    Yep, it will be hard getting everyone back, but starting by making it easy should be a good step regardless.

    Cheers mate

  17. #17
    Bloke with the stick Gix11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitzy View Post
    I miss this place, if you do start over Si, I'm happy to contribute best I can. Also happy to sit back down in front of the PC and reupload 30k+ photos in my collection.
    Mate, I remember when you said "If anything happens to me, don't stress as here's the details to my Photobucket account". Look how that turned out! I realise just how much time you spent uploading all those images mate, what a complete bummer! If I get a new dedicated account to hold the images, we might be calling on you again for some content revival.
    Thanks as always mate.

  18. #18
    Aussie Streetfighter Hooligan
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    I'm still about.
    I liked the forums early years (early for me being 2004 on I think?)

    Still playing with bikes, more interested in riding than building most days.

    I do have some bike related stuff planed for the future,
    Just bought a vehicle related to it and looking at buildings / properties.

    Haven't seen many of the old faces recently.

  19. #19
    Tyre destroying, mad bastard menace
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    I still look in occasionally too , not like i used to though , Do much prefer the forum for tech stuff,
    Good to see the interest in getting the band back together
    If you have chrome you can download a patch to see photobucket again , i just switched to tinypic and fuck photobucket

  20. #20
    ASF Gold Full Member
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    Si the successful forums I'm on use tappatalk and its a fine easy (to use) mobile platform... happy to help where I can.
    I can handle pain until it hurts.

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