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Upsetting statistic

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10 minutes ago, turboplanner said:

No that doesn't make you a pedant, but if a thread is consistently coming back up to the top you can usually bet that a lot of people are interested in it.

Umm a thread consistently coming back up to the top can mean a few people are having a chat.  If it was a new thread, with an appropriate subject heading, others may also be interested.

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An update on my current thinking and research I have done.

 

The hosting cost (server cost) can be reduced, there is a question on software, I need to get out to all the old site users to remind them the site still exists and there is a question on advertising...

 

Server (hosting)

Currently our server is a dedicated server in France. It is bare bones in terms of that only an experience server administrator can manage, it doesn't have a control panel that I know how to use. It is spec'd at:

CPU: E3-1240 V6 @ 3.7Ghz

Memory: 64GB DDR 4
Disk Set: 3 x 500GB (SSD) Raid 5

IP's: 1 usable ip

Premium traffic 300mbs !
Price: 89€

Server Admin Support: 50€

No control panel

Total: 139€ at say 0.58c = $240AUD

 

Option 2: A new server based in LA, West Coast USA that is much faster than current server, shorter distance to Australia, faster to a potential US audience and has a control panel so I can do basic maintenance. This is a very high quality and faster server than we have now however as this server is on special, anything cheaper is far inferior to what we have now. It is spec'd at:

CPU: Intel’s Fastest Xeon E, 2288G 8 Core 3.8Ghz >20,000 Passmark
Memory: 64GB DDR4 ECC Ram
Disk Set: 1.2TB NVMe
IP's: /29 5x usable ip's
100Tb over 1gbps connection

Price: $150USD

No server admin support

DirectAdmin Control Panel

Total: say $150USD at say 0.68c = $220AUD

*The small reduction in monthly cost is used up in the first year by initial setup costs

 

Option 3: Australian based servers are a lot more expensive for what you get but minimises the latency to Australian users but increases the latency to international visitors resulting in a very much less appealing resource for them and the site is downgraded by the Google Search Engine.

Location: Sydney

CPU: E5-2670 V1

Memory: 32GB

Disk Set: 2 x 480GB (SSD)

IP's: 1 usable ip

Data: 7TB

Price: $210AUD

No server admin support

DirectAdmin Control Panel

*The small reduction in monthly cost is used up in the first year by initial setup costs. This server is spec'd lower than our current server and really only good for Australian users.

 

My suggestion is Option 2 as I believe user increase may happen if the site is fast to suit potential US users, it has a control panel so I can do general maintenance and manage the sites better plus it has the latest technology

 

Software

I have swapped and changed between XF and IPS too many times trying to give users far more features which has damaged the user base however the users don't seem to need, or want so many features however I do need to differentiate the site from Facebook i.e. make the site a resource or reference for information.

 

Option 1: IPS (as in now)

Cost: $400 a year

Functionality: Extensive with the ability to create any type of section

Support: Best with Ahmed who is an IPS developer and reasonably priced

User Friendly: Average as with the ability to create anything the site becomes bloated and not user friendly

 

Option 2: XF

Cost: $200 a year

Functionality: Limited to XF core functionality and addons developed by 3rd party vendors

Support: Average with the XF support forums however I know how to do general development in the XF coding

User Friendly: Very good with much easier to use functions and features for all level of users

 

My suggestion is Option 2 as IPS is far more expensive as in double the price of XF, users can use the features of XF in a more friendly manner, XF has the ability to check the existence of email addresses before sending out emails which will enable mail outs to old users to try and get them back to the site and with the addons most of the important user functions (sections) of the current site are available. The graph also showed a steady increase in the user base whilst on XF but dropped considerably and stayed stagnant after we went to IPS

 

Mail Outs

If we go for XF we can send out an email to all the previous users to advise the site is still going and has xyz available to them. If we stay with IPS I would need to find (purchase) software, if it is available, to ascertain if the email addresses used by old users still exist.

 

My suggestion is to use XF to do these mail outs

 

Advertising

Advertising will be available to anyone that wants to have a display advert in the right column on most pages of the site. I will begin with a small token payment. I will also amend the No Advertising rule in the site rules to advertisements can be made in specific areas such as user signatures and other specific sections of the site in a manner to help site users. I will also add Google Adsense to the right column.

 

Any return gained from advertising will be used to promote the site on Facebook and Google pages

 

On a final note I think we need to find some kind of tangible incentive for users to get their friends and associates into using the site

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Ian, I think all your conclusions are sound. On marketing, if we could get every aero/flying club to include a note in their newsletter or do a mailout to members promoting the site, it might help a lot. So we need to think of an incentive for clubs to do this, it is always easier to say no and do nothing.

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1 hour ago, pmccarthy said:

Ian, I think all your conclusions are sound. On marketing, if we could get every aero/flying club to include a note in their newsletter or do a mailout to members promoting the site, it might help a lot. So we need to think of an incentive for clubs to do this, it is always easier to say no and do nothing.

I agree PM

Our Flying Club in Bendigo trains lots of RAA pilots every year. Not many are aware of this site.

Putting it out there for up and coming pilots would be a good thing!

I only found Rec Flying by accident on the Net.

I think I have learnt more about accident prevention here than I did in training!

There are a lot people out there....you just have to connect with them.  

Edited by Butch
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On 15/12/2019 at 8:09 AM, djpacro said:

I went to a thread about an accident to find myself in the midst of a discussion about  Japanese immigration. I'm only interested in coming to a recreationalflying forum for recreational flying discussions. It has been in a downward spiral for some time so relying on subscriptions and pushing donations will only add to the downwards spiral. Usual recovery from a spiral dive - unload, power off, roll level and pull out.

 

It is indeed a recreational flying forum, but thank goodness people here also have lives and other interests.

 

Just how many times over the years can you 'only' talk about take-offs, stalls or aerobatics, and just how many replies specific to those titles can there be ... well I'll answer you, not many.

 

Threads would be short on replies, as well as few started in the first place, if it was 100% pure Rec Fly.

 

My experience in forums is that most of the nonsense you refer to starts well after the thread's topic has been suitably attended to/answered by Members, and that there is really nothing more to add than to have a bit of fun, or expand on some point someone has made in the replies, usually on page 2 or further. 

 

So I think your "pure" forum requirements could only come at a cost of the forum collapsing for lack of traffic and boredom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by bexrbetter
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As of today this whole thing has become SERIOUSLY URGENT. IPS are about to release a security update and the only way I can get it is to pay the license update...I know, it is extremely wrong of a software company to force you to update your license to get a security update in the version that you have paid for and are using...this is one of the things that is wrong with IPS.

 

I have 48hrs now to make a decision on IPS or XF

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On that basis, why would you stick with IPS? XF sounds like a more reasonable company to deal with, to me.

I find little difference in the operating systems and layout between the two, and I note that you always "tuned" the site, in response to forum users requests.

Personally, I don't have a problem with you returning to the XF platform.

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1 hour ago, Admin said:

I have 48hrs now to make a decision on IPS or XF

Power off - yes, get rid of features not needed.

 

But step #1 is still unload. I’m not talking about thread drift but the pervasive hijacking of threads and forums. I only come here for the declared subject - recreational and general aviation. I’m not going to bother sifting out the irrelevant stuff which means I look in here less often. I have lots of other interests, places to go, people to see. I go elsewhere for political opinions and rantings if I want them.

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29 minutes ago, djpacro said:

Power off - yes, get rid of features not needed.

 

But step #1 is still unload. I’m not talking about thread drift but the pervasive hijacking of threads and forums. I only come here for the declared subject - recreational and general aviation. I’m not going to bother sifting out the irrelevant stuff which means I look in here less often. I have lots of other interests, places to go, people to see. I go elsewhere for political opinions and rantings if I want them.

Like the discussion regarding the loss of a Bristell leaving Shell Harbour yesterday becoming a discussion around other things ... obviously suits many but ...

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A basic migration test to XF has been done and it seems to be working ok. You can see it, and even login to it, at www.recfly.com.au

 

The XF version I used has some modifications that I have done to it other than that the actual migration, as I said is only basic which I needed to do to check for any major issues...there was none, but some minor ones like the smilies which I will work on.

 

I have also sent emails off to the guy who will set the new server up and I am waiting for the server company to get back to me with hopefully a slight discount...so all looking good for the next 24 to 48hrs

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On 17/12/2019 at 3:05 PM, Love to fly said:

Like the discussion regarding the loss of a Bristell leaving Shell Harbour yesterday becoming a discussion around other things ... obviously suits many but ...

deleted...mod

 

Edited by robinsm

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Another way is to target North America to build numbers, but continue with a voluntary donation. I am on a fairly specialised US site for motorcycles that seems to survive that way, because of the large numbers of members. Donations can be clicked using PayPal which is painless and mindless, particularly late in the evening after a few reds.

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On 21/12/2019 at 12:47 PM, Admin said:

We have moved over to the new server and the IPS license has been renewed

Hi Ian, is there any bandwidth or cost penalty to us posting pictures, I always like to see what others are doing and think the site would be more enjoyable if there was more pictures and stories. 

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8 minutes ago, Thruster88 said:

Hi Ian, is there any bandwidth or cost penalty to us posting pictures, I always like to see what others are doing and think the site would be more enjoyable if there was more pictures and stories. 

No, there is actually more data allowed with the US server

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