Author Topic: Forum  (Read 3564 times)

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Forum
« on: November 12, 2010, 08:50:48 AM »
A few months ago (summer) someone posted a question asking why the Forum was so slow.  I responded by saying that it has always been slow in summer but picks up in the fall.  Well, the fall is here and it is still slow.  In all pasts years it has been busy in the fall.

I'm trying to figure out why it is still slow and the only answer I can come up with is that due to the thousands of questions posted in past 10 years we all have gained so much knowledge that there are just no more questions to be asked and answered.  Our brains are over flowing with 18th century furniture making knowledge!

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.

John Cashman

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Re: Forum
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2010, 09:21:30 AM »
That's definitely the answer. All knowledge is now universal. There is nothing left to ask, and therefore nothing to answer. There is only to do.

Seriously, I don't know why it's slow either. Maybe it's just an ebb and flow. Maybe it's the economy, or the anxiety. I've spent far more time reading and very little posting, and that's always worked out for me.

Maybe we need a little snow to move things along.

pearle

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Re: Forum
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2010, 10:45:24 AM »
I wonder if the slowness has anything to do with how the forum software is designed. It seems to be geared for very busy groups where the participants aren't too interested in most posts. The default behavior is that a member must actively click on a couple of web pages to participate in a web "conversation". I do subscribe to get e-mail notices of new posts, but if I don't affirmatively click on the e-mail for a new topic and then affirmatively click to be notified of responses to that topic, I never get announcement of follow-up comments. From time-to-time I will check the forum web page to see a summary of recent posts and find I've missed a topic which interests me and which has had a number of replies but because I missed responding to the first one I never saw any of the others.

Yahoo Groups (and I presume Google Groups as well) are designed such that once you sign up for e-mail notification, you get notified of all posts automatically. If that generates too may messages for you, you can get a once-a-day digests of daily posts. I believe every SAPFM member is interested in every post on the forum (with the possible exception of regional meeting announcements) but may not be in position to do what is currently required to do to keep up with posts.

I think I asked Mark about this issue when we made the switch to this software and he said it was the only way this program worked.

I don't know if this keeps posting volume down, but it may be an issue.

Phil Hirz

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Re: Forum
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 11:43:25 AM »
There is a trick that some of you may not know about.  You can add the entire SAPFM forum to your feed reader and get an update every time there is a post.  It makes it easy to see when there are new posts or topics that you are interested in and you can even see new replies to old topics. 

For those of you that already know what I am talking about the link to add to your reader is below:
http://www.sapfm.org/forum/index.php?type=rss;action=.xml

If you don't know what I am talking about here is a brief explanation.  A feed is a web format that is used to publish frequently updated works on the internet - such as blog entries, news headlines, audio or video podcasts, etc.  This tool can also be used for forum posts.  You can download software or go to websites called feed readers that assemble your lists of feeds you want to subscribe to and display new content as it is published.  I personally use Google Reader (http://www.google.com/reader). 

You can either go to the google reader website and log in to see all the newest information or you can add google reader to your customized google homepage (http://www.google.com/ig).  If you have a customized google homepage you can add a whole bunch of other useful features such as latest news headlines, stock tickers, weather summaries, etc.  As soon as you open your browser you get an overview of all the latest news that you care about.  It is very convenient.

Hopefully this information helps everyone follow the forum more closely and hopefully it will help generate more interesting traffic so that we can all learn more from eachother.

-Phil

pearle

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Re: Forum
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2010, 12:33:27 PM »
Phil, I'd like to know more about News Readers. Do you know of a "News Readers for Dummies" web site that would help me get started? The Google site you listed seems to presume I know a lot more than I do.

Preston Earle
www.SawdustforBrains.blogspot.com

Phil Hirz

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Re: Forum
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2010, 01:21:40 PM »
Preston,

I did a quick search and I found a website and a youtube video that may be helpful.

First the Youtube video.  This video explains the ins and outs of feed readers and shows you how to set up your reader and add subscriptions.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU

Second, the website: http://www.whatisrss.com/
There are probably other sites out there that are better than this one, but it had a bunch of links to different feed readers and links to more tutorials.  If you search online for "RSS" and "Feed Readers" you should be able to find more helpful content. 

By the way, RSS refers to the way that website info is summarized and sent to your reader.  I found a couple different acronym definitions out there including "Rich Site Summary" and "Really Simple Syndication".  Just remember that RSS refers to the feeds and how you subscribe to them.

-Phil

jacon4

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Re: Forum
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2010, 07:25:39 AM »
Why is the forum so slow? I would argue that it is not slow considering forum only has 828 members. In the internet world, traffic RULES & the only way to generate more traffic/posts is to increase membership.

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, that gives me an idea, as the holiday season approaches, i think I'll give a forum membership as a gift to someone i think may have an interest. Now where is that gift membership tab?

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: Forum
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2010, 08:23:19 AM »
FYI: back when the membership was half of what it is now the fall Forum was much busier.

Dennis Bork
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.

millcrek

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Re: Forum
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2010, 10:52:25 AM »
I read a number of other forums related to furniture making. I believe that the reason for less traffic on this one may be that the level of conversation here is on a different level. On this forum you don't see the weekly post on who makes the best chisel or what the best poly is. I think it's just a little more intimidating to post here because of the level of conversation is [I want to say higher but that's the wrong word] different. I find that on this forum I read all the posts on others I skip more than half.

John Cashman

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Re: Forum
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2010, 12:09:39 PM »
I agree with millcrek. I don't post very often, because I know there are others more qualified to give answers and advice than I am. But I do check the forum and read it, alot. I'm always going back and reading posts from before I was active.

Rich Nimetz

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Re: Forum
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2010, 12:46:18 PM »
I scan the forum daily to see what has come in but I also use the forum for researching an answer to a question that I may have. Using the search portion of the forum you are able to see all posts related to the information you are looking for. If I was looking for Hyde Glue just type it in and search.  All the posts with the word Hyde and or Glue would appear. Then I scan through them for what I am looking for, if by some chance it is not there then I would post a question.

Since the inception of the organization the forum data base has been developed and holds vast amounts of knowledge.

I would like to thank everyone who has added to the forum, Their knowledge and  view points have helped me in so many ways on projects. Just the answer on Feed readers was a neat thing to learn and use. Great tip!

Rich Nimetz
Richard J Nimetz
#-548

Michael Armand

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Re: Forum
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2010, 01:00:27 PM »
A few other things to think about why it might be slow.
  The forum has highlighted topics such as (Posted today or Yesterday).  After two days unless the topic is continued the bold print  turns to the regular size print with the date it was posted. When I sign on my Attention Deficit Disorder kicks in and if there are no bold headings I sign off.  Maybe if the heading continued such as Posted this week it would keep conversation going.  It's possible not all the members sign on every day with all the other blogs going on.
   Another thought is that chapter members call their fellow chapter members to ask questions instead of posting.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.
   Thanks to all that write in and answer questions. I nice to know that you can find someone that can answer questions and solve problems that may arise.                                                        
                                                            Mike

jacon4

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Re: Forum
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2010, 03:19:27 PM »
Well, lets see now, according to the forum stats page, heres total forum posts in sept & oct

'06 - 183
'07 - 203
'08 - 268
'09 - 415
'10 - 176

So Dennis is correct that forum posts are down thus far this fall from last years record 415 however, this years 176 is still pretty much inline with earlier years. I still say posts on blogs/forums are a numbers game, the more readers/members, the more posts.

Adam Cherubini

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Re: Forum
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2010, 03:26:32 AM »
A large number of posts isn't necessarily a good thing.  Just look at KNOTS! If someone writes something controversial, you get a lot of hits and a lot of posts.  If someone asks about who makes the best mortise chisel, you get 3 posts.  So I don't think forum hits is a good metric for the society's health or reflective of the general interest in the subject.

Adam

jim vojcek

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Re: Forum
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2010, 11:14:32 AM »
If I posted all my questions, I could post 100 to 200 a month.  Then people would wonder why there are so many  questions!! 

Jim Vojcek