The future of these forums
#1
Hello all.

So, what's all this about?

BLUF: Dinky's decided to bow out of the forums completely. This has forced me to start taking notice of forum things for the first time in a long time, so I'm seeking your input as to what to do with them.

Some background...

Moderating the forums and their upkeep is a PITA frankly (clunky old software and customisations). I've stepped back from moderating most things for years and Dinky was doing all that - usually clonking users with the ban hammer for violating the extensive forum rules.

Well we're back to my original rules now and Dinky has removed all bans they imposed, as well as opened up closed or deleted threads.

So the future...

Some of the things I'm thinking about doing are:

1) Take the forums offline.

I like this as it's easy and lazy and free. I don't like it as it removes a big resource for the community.

2) I close the forums to new threads/posts but keep it online.

This is great for keeping the resource accessible to the community, it's a PITA for maintenance and ongoing costs (it ain't free to host the forums).

3) Getting some moderators in and limping along until the inevitable BBC changes can get_iplayer altogether or the maintainer stops working on it etc etc. Same drawbacks as number 2 but keeps up access for the less technically minded to post somewhere about their issues.

So...

I guess this message is to guage how much people would care/not care if I just closed the forums. I don't particularly mind figuring out a way to close them but keep online for google searches etc. Nor do I mind if some mods want to come in to keep the lights on for a while.


Happy Easter to you all!

SP
#2
Well, I didn't use the forum much, but it's sad to see it go away (and even sadder the day get_iplayer stops working).
So I vote for option 2 or 3 (not that I'm volunteering for the latter, mind me).
#3
If you can't get any mods to keep the site ticking along, then It might be useful moving some of the info over to the GitHub site if it's not already there.

The "Wiki" and "Issues" tabs could stand in as a basic forum for general help and bug fixing.
#4
Keep it going as a read-only forum.

Could still be used for occasional announcements (upgrades etc)
#5
It would be a great shame if the content of the forums was lost. This place was an easier place to get help than the GitHub page. Are you intending binning the site or just the forums? If just the forums then that wouldn't be too bad. Not sure how new releases of GiP would be made so obvious though.
#6
Please keep it here at least as a way to announce new versions ..
It will be a sad, sad day when get_iplayer no longer is around :(

I am sure that moderating this has been difficult for Dinky in the past.
I have been sitting on the RSS feed of the forum for many years, and it has always been interesting and THE place for information.
#7
Would be sad to see it disappear.

My vote would be to keep it available (until the bitter end) as a read only resource and for announcements if no moderator can be recruited.

Thanks go, of course, to both you and Dinky for all you have done for the wonderful get_iplayer over the past and hopefully into the forseeable future...
#8
Couldn't https://github.com/get-iplayer/get_iplayer be configured so we might report issues their instead of here?

My priority would be that get_iplayer keeps running rather than any chat here.

Are you looking for donations?

Finally many thanks to Dinky!
#9
Well, this has hardly been the place to ask dumb questions! But I would like to record my appreciation of all the work done over the years to keep this useful tool going. And for the information that has been posted here.
For me it has been useful to stop by occasionally and see what's new and also if I am having a problem whether someone has seen it (BBC has just changed something) or not (me problem).
It would be nice if it could continue in some form but I appreciate that someone has to take on the commitment.
#10
Keeping the forum information online in searchable form would be really useful. Being able to ask for advice and help in a dedicated forum are things you really appreciate when they’ve not there any more....

Great software and a great forum supporting it quickly helped me less of a noob, so many thanks to all.
#11
My thoughts

There are plenty of free/ad-supported/paid-for-without-ads forums like Reddit that have good
reasonable moderation and content control options for someone* else to provide a user forum
Getting the existing site into the same format would (probably) be non trivial so maybe easier to host a read-only copy somewhere.

*someone - not me
#12
I use forums in general a lot and I manage/moderate 2 of them. If this one is going to die, I'd be happy to set one up. I don't know the structure or layout of this one, but I'd be happy to help if needed.

The main reason for this one is to report bugs and get notice of new updates. If that continues, I'm happy to help.

regards

Alan
#13
As a forum operator myself I realise that being an admin is a real PITA. It would be a shame to see these go, as there is plenty of valid historic info on here. I would rather see the forums move to a free platform. Sites like www.proboards.com or similar would probably suffice.
#14
As I said - I am happy to host and manage a forum. I use "createmybb" as a free forum and it's been fast and reliable for years.

Alan
#15
I don't use these forums for myself much - I tend to dip in to answer questions, just not as quickly as dp used to.

I suspect there is a small group of people who would be willing to share the moderation workload, so if you can still host this, then I think the community could probably carry the rest.

If you don't want to host then I think the options include
- github issues together with more tutorial/FAQ bits in the wiki
- a subreddit, if anyone's got enough karma to create one
- or ask discourse if they'll host a forum for the project

or you could always go back to the mailing list on infradead... (but you'd lose me overnight if you did - too much spam and too many idiots! ;-)

Jon
#16
I'm temporarily closing the forums to new posts as I sort out some email and domain organisation stuff. Don't worry, I'm not taking them off line, they're still readable.

Hope to have this fixed up by the end of the week at the latest.

I've read all your comments and suggestions. I'll be looking into them more over the next week as well. My inclination is to certainly not delete anything, even if I 'closed' these forums I'd spider the site and host it statically somewhere forever so the links worked.

And I'd like to keep things going if possible, but perhaps on some more modern and feature rich platform that has easier upgrades.
#17
SP - I'm happy to set up a new one for you at createmybb.com and then give you admin rights.

Alan
#18
Alan - I'm not keen on having ads, plus there may be some (additional) legal issue with that too around iPlayer.

I'll figure something out.
#19
Ok - I understand.

Best of luck.

Alan
#20
It would be a great shame to lose the forums. Am I right in thinking that the main problem is the time needed to moderate the forums manually? If so, I have two suggestions for lightening the load:

1. Use forum software that supports semi-automatic moderation. For example, with WordPress comments (not that I'm suggesting using WP) you can set the site up so that untrusted users' posts have to be manually moderated, but after two approved posts the user becomes trusted and can post without moderation. The moderator can of course unset the 'trusted' status if necessary. This works quite well.

2. Reduce the range of topics and questions that are allowed, and make users select one or more permitted subject areas before posting. This eliminates a lot of trivial posts, and thereby makes the forums more useful as well as reducing the moderation task.