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Do you accept some ads for NON-members ONLY?
No, I want no advertising not even for non-members 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Yes, some ads are fine as long as it's only for non-members 95%  95%  [ 19 ]
Total votes : 20
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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2011, 21:04 
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Forum software needs to be updated, mainly to fix little bugs and upgrade security, although there are no known security risk with the current version, it's still a good idea. This is a good opportunity to implement some of the extra features that we've talked about here in this section, as well as move to a bigger and better server. These are the plans for this upgrade:

1. Move to the lastest version of phpbb (3.0.8).

2. Move to a much faster and better USA based server - this should help cope with these sudden influx of spammers we get on occasions, give us much better forum speed, and also provide plenty of potential for more growth.

3. Add "Tapatalk - Iphone and other smartphone" forum support

4. Add mChat - an window for chatting which will appear at the bottom of the screen.

5. Add Google Custom Search - uses the Google engine to search for things just on this forum, which can often give results that the forum search engine does not do well.

I am also considering some advertising ONLY for non-members :o . This means for members nothing will change, and you'll never see a single ad. However if you're not a member you will see some ads around the place.
Before you think I'm getting greedy, let me explain why... As this forum grows, it takes more and more server resources, which does cost money. I'm also finding myself spending more and more time on admin types tasks, like backups, update security to prevent hackers, blocking IPs of spammers, fixing problems, etc. I used to spend much more time on my reviews site, which did have ads and did derive some income to cover the costs, but now I simply don't have much time for this anymore. So I thought for all our members, most of whom contribute to our forum as well, nothing should change. But for visitors who have never joined nor contributed anything to our forum and freely use all our information, surely some advertising does not hurt and helps support the forum. I would of course make sure ads don't stand out, or make thing harder to see or find. If they don't like it, all they have to do is join and they won't see it.

Since this is an sensitive subject, one that people may not wish to object to publicly, I will add a poll to this post, so that you can vote anonymously to let me know if you have objections. Please read what I said above though... ads will only ever be seen for non-members, so for members nothing will change. This forum has always been advertising-free, which is uncommon for forums... most forum do have ads, and often people don't even notice it.

I have not made a decision on this, and would appreciated any feedback. We need to consider not only how we perceive it personally, but also how it reflect on our forum for outsiders and if it would put off potential new members. I certainly don't want to ruin the great community we have here, as it mean a lot to me, and people feel ads for non-members will affect this, I will not do it.

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2011, 07:48 
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I don't mind ads and I know running a site like this isn't free. If this helps you recover some of the money you've put into it, good for you.

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2011, 07:57 
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speedplay wrote:
My main concern is rather about what kind of adds we are going to have here. I would want for them to be TT related (which probably is most likely, given the clientel we have here) but if this isn't possible, then I could accept others as well.

I agree completely. We don't want big colourful banners, particularly if they're unrelated to TT. I was only thinking some small TT related one if I can find one, and them perhaps a Google text ones within a thread, that blends in and tends to be related to the subject discussed automatically. I would want to stay in complete control of what's shown here, and it must not detract from the professional look that we have, nor must it make things hard to read.
Of course it won't affect any of us members, as we'll never see them as long as we're logged in.

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2011, 13:21 
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I like your suggestions. A little revenue might keep this forum going for much, much longer and keep those dedicated few able to justify all the time they put into it.

I do like the idea of members being free of ads, especially because I'm still on dial-up and it would really slow things down for me, but it wouldn't be too big a sacrifice for me if a small ad or two was going to appear in the near future.

Like I said, I think this forum might need that little revenue boost because it can only survive for so long on love alone! :*

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2011, 17:01 
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You have every right to run ads for all participants, members and non-members alike.

I've been running Google AdSense ads on two of my forum sites for many years and nobody complains, not ever. Participants here should understand that such ads don't generally bring in tons of money; maybe $100-200/month for this site in this market, which might just offset your hard expenses and perhaps a little of your time, too.

IM or Skype me if you want more info on AdSense.

p.s. Be sure to ask any potential web hosting companies about their phpbb3's defense against the spammer program Xrumer. I just pulled the plug on phpbb3 and back-revved that site to other forum software after xrumer-generated comment spam rendered the phpbb site useless. Xrumer can auto-register fake users, crack CAPTCHAs, and positively inundate your site with comment spam.. and it seems to have no problem whatsoever with phpbb v3.


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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2011, 18:41 
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Thanks everyone for your feedback and support!

nathanso wrote:
p.s. Be sure to ask any potential web hosting companies about their phpbb3's defense against the spammer program Xrumer. I just pulled the plug on phpbb3 and back-revved that site to other forum software after xrumer-generated comment spam rendered the phpbb site useless. Xrumer can auto-register fake users, crack CAPTCHAs, and positively inundate your site with comment spam.. and it seems to have no problem whatsoever with phpbb v3.

I've been looking into this a lot, as our forum has suffered from this as well. I don't believe hosting companies can do a lot against them, as the spammers bots come from everywhere, and are very hard to distinguish from genuine people.
You're right, the Captcha has been cracked, the same goes for all forum and sites. However we use Q & A in registration here (part of the later versions of phpbb), and change the questions regularly, which has stopped all automated spammer programs so far. The more popular forum software are always bigger targets, so it's hard to avoid. I think phpbb software is very good, and is well supported and very secure, so I would not be keen to change over unless I really had to...

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PostPosted: 22 Jan 2011, 20:26 
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Yes, ad the ads for those non-members - plenty of them like how to meet people and how to grow their.... thing. :)

Nah, I'm with Speedplay on this one, keep it simple and relevent.

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