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add gun to holster

Read about whats new and improved on the site, or make suggestions about how we can make the website better.

Postby tigwelder56 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:13 am

Hey T33, I like your idea and have to agree with you, there is excellent potential in the general idea started here, always has been. It's what attracted all of the original members. The names of the Moderators on the site homepage are literally the original "first" members here! We spent alot of time just shooting the breeze and enjoying each other's company and knowledge. The original webmaster who also identified himself as "Active Fan" was very involved. He set it up so the Mod's could add firearms to each of the categories. As long as the manufacturer was listed on the main index, we could add whatever we had time to. I was actually able to contact him almost immediately via email! Ha, imagine that? I would get a request to add an unusual firearm and after some research, I could get it added to the forum. That, and usually, a quick review to involve the original member and hopefully spark some interest across the forum. It worked very well for a couple of years!



We had a few issues with renegade members and there were some colorful exchanges with several of the "Mouthy" members, that in retrospect was a poor choice of solutions! I personally placed my size 11 shoe uncomfortably in my mouth. We all did at least a time or two! But the interesting thing was that it brought us together even tighter. We never had rules of the road that were so oppressive that you couldn't say what you wanted to say. We had/have limits of course to what is allowed, but we've always given people enough leeway to say what they wanted to say. I think that has always been one of the attractions of the site. Not only are you welcome here but you're also welcome to be yourself, for better or worse. Where some sites would edit you or remove you from the forum, we didn't agree with that method of editing. Yet everyone knows how far they can push things without waking up the silent censure, which was always rare and discussed/agreed upon by at least two Mods.



The problem started with the addition of aggressive marketing. Very aggressive!! It came and went a couple of times and each time we experienced a problem with privacy issues, the Webmaster's involvement began to get scarce. Then we received a notice from "Active Fan", the Webmaster, that he was upgrading the forum with faster servers, better software, etc., etc. Unfortunately those upgrades included some pretty horrific advertising! We had the usual banner ads from some of the big name dealers which were easily tolerated because they weren't aggressive in nature. But then we started getting pushy pop ups that would interrupt even casual reviews of a thread. You either agreed to read the garbage or you found yourself treading cyber-space. It really sucked and it got worse and worse. Several people (me included) started getting redirects to sites like Walmart, KMart and an occasional porn site. We suffered through that for several weeks and finally said "ENOUGH"!! We were losing members faster than we could gain them!! Active Fan denied responsibility for these crap attacks but we were able to provide enough examples that it couldn't be denied. Following that revelation, he pulled all advertising from the website. I want to say that it was around Thanksgiving +/-, I'm not sure anymore, that all contact with him was severed. As you can see we have no more advertising. We've tried to make contact with "Management", to no avail. I guess it is what it is and will hopefully play out in favor of the membership. I think that this discussion,( I hope anyway), will provide some hope to our tired group of Second Amendment Warriors...
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Postby Tralik33 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:21 pm

Yeah, typical advertisement is annoying. I'm thinking more along the lines of sponsorship or partnership with some select manufacturers or dealers. No pop-ups or banners and definitely no chance of unwanted redirects or giving away users contact information or email addresses. One of the easiest way to tastefully place advertisement for manufacturers would be to have links inside their groupings. For example, you click on Glock, and the Glock page comes up with a tasteful header that links to Glocks website. That's just one idea of course and I'm sure there are other, possibly better, ways of doing it as well. But, the key to the site remains based upon user integrity and that the reviews, good or bad, remain untainted by advertisement. There may also be potential for limited cooperation from other groups like the NRA or different sport shooting organizations or hunting organizations. The possibilities are pretty wide open at this point.
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Postby Tralik33 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:27 pm

OK, I've had my friend who runs a website design and consulting business look at the site. He seems to think the site could be pretty easily recreated using mysql and php. He thinks the hosting would run between $30-$50 per month. He's also said that there are some easy yet unobtrusive ways to integrate relevant advertising that would help to offset the cost of running the site.



All the relevant numbers I can find show the traffic for this site at about 100,000 individual visitors per month currently with a past peak of somewhere around 250,000. That's very respectable traffic as far as advertisers are concerned and finding sponsors or ad partners shouldn't be too difficult. Anyhow, we are formulating a plan and looking into doing something of this nature. Obviously this site is privately owned. I'll try contacting the owner as well to see if he'd be interested in turning the domain and the site over. If not, we'd have to create another site.



Like I said, I'm relatively new here and don't want to step on toes, especially some of you that have been here a long time. I just see the unrealized potential of this site and the service it provides and would like to do something about it. If any of you have thoughts or suggestions, please, let me know.
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Postby g4l » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:56 am

Excellent! I would hope AF would consider selling this place to someone who will bring out the full potential.
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Postby tigwelder56 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:09 am

Please keep me in the loop T33. I would like to know how these kinds of changes are accomplished. I'm sure it's complicated so sharing any information or ideas will be appreciated. Thanks!



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Postby lotsip81 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:15 am

Thanks for posting all of your updates and letting all of us know what you have going on. I sure hope that something can be done to bring this site back up to the top!!
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Postby Tralik33 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:38 am

I sent a private message to AF as well last night requesting that if he no longer wanted to maintain the site that he see about letting someone here take over.



As for the process. It will depend. If AF agrees to turn over the site to someone, that would be the easiest. All that would have to be done is to switch the registration of the domain from AF to the new administrator. If AF is unresponsive, then the group will need to decide if they would rather live with the site as-is, or if they want to contribute to the creation and repopulation of a new site. Based on what I have read from Tig and others about how nonresponsive AF has been of late, my guess is that there will likely be no reply to the request to turn the site over to a new admin. This means that if we decide to create a new site, that the site will have to be built from scratch. That's not necessarily a bad thing however. I believe most web hosts now have significantly better tools available and mast have better service than what we see here regularly. For example, I could not get onto the site at all for about 2 hours last night as the server repeatedly timed out. A new webhost should eliminate that issue.



My friend with the web design experience is interested in helping out with this (he's a former competition shooter as well). We are currently looking at the options for rebuilding a site based on the same concept of this one with a few functionality improvements. Currently we are looking into the time it would take to rebuild the site as well as potential ways to help offset the costs of running such a site.



One thing I want to make sure everyone knows is that if I undertake such an excursion, I would make a point of keeping Tig and BB as moderators/admins as well as probably add a few of the other regulars here as well. I'm an Engineer and work a full-time job currently and probably won't be able to keep up with general moderation by myself. I also want everyone that's here on this site to feel welcome and at home on a new site if it comes to that. You guys are the ones that have made this current site special and I have no intention of disrupting that in any way shape or form.



Anyhow, I imagine it will take a week or so to get a good feel for what it will take to recreate a site like this. He seems to think that much of the dynamic coding will require some manual work, but he's not sure yet how involved it will be. As more details become available, I'll let you all know.
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Postby lotsip81 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:29 pm

I just want to give you my thanks for your efforts to make this site as good as it can be. We all appreciate your efforts. I was just curious, were the links I sent you were helpful? If it does indeed come down to making another site, let me thank you in advance for you help and efforts. Just out of curiousity, would it be a completely different layout, or would the site hold a similar likeness to this site? Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. In a little while I'll be gone for several months, but after that I'll be back. I'll be sure to check out this site, and if you have a new site, I'll be checking that out as well. Just let me know what the name of it would be. I'd love to see what wonders you'd be able to work.
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Postby Tralik33 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:54 pm

Your links were helpful. I needed to know approximately how much traffic this site sees to know what kind of bandwidth we would need to keep it speedy.



If I do go ahead and recreate a site, obviously the name would be different, but I would try to keep it as similar to this as possible in looks and feel. Like I said, this site has/had great potential and I see no reason to tinker with a formula that appears to work rather well. One of the few things I would probably do is to try to expand the weapons sections to include more types of rifles and shotguns. The pistols seem pretty thorough at this point, but from what I saw, there weren't nearly as many rifles or shotguns listed. That's one of the few areas that I saw that could use some work.
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Postby lotsip81 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:02 pm

Are you open to suggestions for some modifications, wether it would be on this site or another? I have some that I'd like to share if your open to them.
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