Future of the forum II

This is a serious poetry forum not a "love-in". Post here for more detailed, constructive criticism.
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camus
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Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:21 pm

I'll be perfectly honest, i've lost the passion for this place. Personally there where the golden years, but that's purely personal. The guys from those years have moved on, I have little passion for poetry now (no matter how hard I try) and this place is becoming the ultimate metaphor, an albatross.

I feel i 'm just a gate keeper now.

And being a gate keeper i have to pay for hosting (on that note there was a very kind contribution from an existing "user" which was much appreciated) look after updates, notifications, new users etc...

When I took over this place, it was perhaps out of sentimentality, which in hindsight was perhaps not the best reason.

That said I'm open to suggestions, I certainly won't be making any hasty decisions and fully respect you guys who still use the place.

What to do?

Cheers
Kris
http://www.closetpoet.co.uk
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Leaf
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Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:50 pm

Hi Kris,

I'm sorry to read this, having only just rejoined.

Perhaps you could invite contributions? I'd be happy to help out.

Best wishes,
Leaf
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CalebPerry
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Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:19 pm

Oh my, this is bad news. I'm especially sorry to hear that you aren't writing much.

I had a similar experience with my own site, poemtree.com. Twenty-four years ago I WANTED to be a poet, but I mostly had writer's block. So I became a "hanger-on" in the world of poetry by publishing an online anthology. But my heart wasn't really in being an agent for other poets, so I let the site lapse. My writer's block was pretty much cured in 2016 when I found my voice. But even if I go two months without writing poetry (as I did recently), I lose interest in the forum.

I am going to "out" myself and let everyone know that I paid for half of the first year's hosting fees. Are we now into the second year? I'll tell you what I can do: I will pay all of the hosting fees for the first three years. For reasons that are almost comical, I am flush with money these days, so I don't mind doing it. And that way, no one could ever toss me off the forum (as Ros did, unfairly, many years ago).

I could also force myself to do some administrative work -- not all of it necessarily, but enough to make you feel like you are getting some help. If you really want to get out, between us we could find a way for you to retire from the site sometime soon, although I think that someone else should become the actual owner of the site (if for no other reason than that I am 71 and may not last that much longer, though I'm hoping to make it to 80).

I'm running out to the store now. When I come back, I'll send you my email address, and we'll talk.
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
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camus
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Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:22 pm

Hey Leaf,

It's really not about money (i know i mentioned it) and your contribution is much appreciated.

It's really about time and giving this forum the respect it deserves, which i don't feel i can do any longer.

It really needs people to step the fuck up, say, yes i care about this place i'll take on a certain amount of responsibility.

i could easily hand over the admin reigns to anyone who's prepared to take it on. it's certainly not a massive undertaking, seeing as though new users are non-existent.

It needs an injection of passion, and i can only think that passion would come from exiting users of the place?
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Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:43 am

I am going to "out" myself and let everyone know that I paid for half of the first year's hosting fees. Are we now into the second year? I'll tell you what I can do: I will pay all of the hosting fees for the first three years.
That is extremely generous of you Caleb.
I could also force myself to do some administrative work
I think PPE, with his IT skills, has offered help there?
It's really about time...
Fair enough Kris. I think there are those interested in running the 'project' so it is just a matter of transition.

best

mac
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CalebPerry
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Sat Sep 11, 2021 9:28 am

Unless we find one person who is gung-ho to be the administrator of the site, I think it would be a good idea to have two administrators who would share the duties. However, those people would have to share a similar view about how the forum should be run. For example, I'm not a stickler for rules, and I would be pretty laid back, letting people say whatever they want in the threads, even to the extent of letting them argue if they get angry.

We want to avoid anyone who would make the forum his or her personal fiefdom -- I've seen that happen quite a few times, like on Pig Pen and PoetBay and even Eratosphere (where the rules are extreme). Basically, the people who administer and pay for the site will become the de facto owners.

I would be happy to be an administrator, but I'd like to share the duties with someone. Also, some of you people who are already moderators would be a good fit, if you don't mind the extra work.
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
pomespennyeach
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Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:45 pm

Since my name has come up: I want to stress that I do not have "IT skills". I spent 20 years teaching librarians to use various library softwares, but I've never managed a site, nor been an administrator of any site.

That said, I do have time on miy hands and would be happy to take on anything that I can get training to do. With a big emphasis on "training".

I did help a friend set up a forum about 20 years ago. It seemed fairly straightforward, but I was starting from scratch, not messing with an already exisiting site.

So, short answer, I'd be happy to work with Caleb or anyone else to help keep the site alive. I'm 67, so the "passion" might have to come from elsewhere :D

PPE
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Leaf
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Sat Sep 11, 2021 5:42 pm

Perhaps put together a team of existing members to run admin, improve SEO, engage using various social media...?

Sorry for such a concise response! I'll pop back tomorrow.
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CalebPerry
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Sat Sep 11, 2021 7:44 pm

PPE, all that would be required is for Kris to give us the necessary information -- the passwords and such -- and we could just take over. You and I would have to divvy up the responsibilities. For example, one of us might be responsible for opening new accounts for new members, while the other pays the bills. I have to say that I'm not very good at promoting, as my own sites don't get a lot of traffic. Perhaps Leaf could help with that (if she wants to). We would ask Kris to remain as an adviser, since he is the one who set up the site from scratch and knows all the ins and outs. Kris could remain an administrator for a while, if not permanently. (I suspect his poetry will come back to him, and he'll find his enthusiasm again.)

Now, if I were the sole owner of the site, I would do only one thing: I would make a light-colored theme the default theme while allowing people to choose the black theme if they prefer it. (In my view, black is off-putting.) I might try to bring back the old name, especially since I still don't fully understand what Prole Art Threat means. That's pretty much it.
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
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camus
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Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:08 am

Hi Guys,

As long as you decide between yourselves who you would like to be the main admins, i'll happily help with the transition.

As regards hosting, again I'm happy to keep hosting the site, backing it up etc...

There will be an annual FEE of £50. Which will be due each July.

I'll just await your ideas.

Cheers
Kris
http://www.closetpoet.co.uk
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camus
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Sun Sep 12, 2021 12:04 pm

A few ideas:

1. Open a new thread somewhere specifically for the transition.
2. List the existing Admin roles and prune those who no longer need access.
3. Decide who will be taking over what roles?

Also:
I might try to bring back the old name, especially since I still don't fully understand what Prole Art Threat means. That's pretty much it.
That's basically impossible. The old Forum was hosted on http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/ Hence its name was interlinked with that website. The forum was hosted on that site, again hence: http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/forum - which is where it lived. When i agreed to take over the forum i had to host it somewhere, I had an existing domain name - www.proleartthreat.co.uk which was loosely based around the arts, so I thought that may be a good place to plonk the forum. I then had to migrate all the files over and update the database accordingly, so you're stuck with https://www.proleartthreat.co.uk/forum/, unless of course you'd like to create a new domain name altogether and go through the migration process again? Which i'm really not into doing, it's a complex task. I'd be happy to hand over all the files for anyone with the skills to do so though. Really don't see the point though?

Cheers
Kris
http://www.closetpoet.co.uk
pomespennyeach
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Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:10 pm

Sounds like a plan. That was my first question: what does the technical adminstrator do , besides implement updates?

I understand about the name; I had talked a long time to a friend who knows IT and changing the name is like starting over. I think right now we are just talking about keeping the site going.

And the list of roles; I'm unclear who moderates, but I im guessing it's not the technical admnistrator.

Who can start a new topic/thread for the transition ?

PPE
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Leaf
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Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:10 pm

Back again!

I could help with promoting, yes. I'm pretty confident on Facebook. I haven't used Twitter for a while, but I could get to grips with that too, if necessary. I like the idea of linking to threads on site and posting about members' successes, for example :)
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CalebPerry
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Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:17 pm

Yes, changing the name would involve a new domain name, but there are hosting companies that will transfer your site for free, lock, stock and barrel. After opening a new hosting account and transferring everything, a few technical parameters need to be changed, that's all.

My thought for bringing back the old name was to change it, subtly, to "Poet's Grave". That would require a new domain name, but it would be very similar, and not the one that Cam is still using. Or we could keep the name as "Poets' Graves" and host it in the U.S., or we could keep the domain name the same and just change the extension (from .co.uk to org.uk).

BUT, that is not important and doesn't need to be done at this point.

First we need to decide who becomes an administrator. PPE, although I have a lot of respect for you, it's also true that you are a new member. But if you are gung-ho to do it, I would take a chance on turning the forum over to a you. As for me, I am four years older than you and have a lot of health problems. However, I may also have more technical skill than you do, since I have hosted three or four domain names over the years, and one of them has been transferred several times. I also tried to set up my own poetry forum once.

PPE, perhaps both you and I could become administrators, with Kris staying on as an advisor for half a year. If, then, you wanted to be sole administrator and you had showed yourself to have a well-balanced approach to the forum, Kris and I could bow out and the forum would become yours. I remain, however, concerned about forums where the owner becomes a little dictator. You don't strike me as that kind of person.

It seems to me that the group needs to share their opinions about who becomes an administrator. Once that is decided, then contacting Kris privately for the passwords and such is the next step.
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
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camus
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Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:52 pm

What we must also consider is the huge legacy and amount of quality poems that are contained here in. There was also a brilliant anthology created, I would be loathe to hand the site over and for those to simply disappear, that's certainly not an option.

Cheers
Kris
http://www.closetpoet.co.uk
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CalebPerry
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Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:26 pm

I don't know anything about the anthology. Can you tell us more about it? Is it still for sale?

It needs to be remembered that all the poems contained on the site are drafts which may have been changed. Legally, it's possible that posting a poem here constitutes publication, but I don't think most poets would agree with that.
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
pomespennyeach
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Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:07 am

CalebPerry wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:17 pm

First we need to decide who becomes an administrator. PPE, although I have a lot of respect for you, it's also true that you are a new member. But if you are gung-ho to do it, I would take a chance on turning the forum over to a you. As for me, I am four years older than you and have a lot of health problems. However, I may also have more technical skill than you do, since I have hosted three or four domain names over the years, and one of them has been transferred several times. I also tried to set up my own poetry forum once.

PPE, perhaps both you and I could become administrators, with Kris staying on as an advisor for half a year. If, then, you wanted to be sole administrator and you had showed yourself to have a well-balanced approach to the forum, Kris and I could bow out and the forum would become yours. I remain, however, concerned about forums where the owner becomes a little dictator. You don't strike me as that kind of person.

It seems to me that the group needs to share their opinions about who becomes an administrator. Once that is decided, then contacting Kris privately for the passwords and such is the next step.
I'm definitely not gunning to be sole administrator! You have the experience. That's what is needed.

You suggestion in second paragraph sounds good to me. You could train me as a back-up.

My assumption is that the moderator(s) control the posts, and I don't see any ego interfering with moderation as it is done now. So I don't think that is lilely to change, unless moderators change. Am I missing something there?

Where the group comes in would be, I think, to discuss changes in the design.

PPE
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Leaf
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Mon Sep 13, 2021 7:15 pm

Happy with Caleb and PPE on admin 👍
camus wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 12:04 pm
A few ideas:

1. Open a new thread somewhere specifically for the transition.
2. List the existing Admin roles and prune those who no longer need access.
3. Decide who will be taking over what roles?
All good, Kris :)

Does Moderator David ever pop in nowadays?
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CalebPerry
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Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:13 am

I haven't seen David for a while, but I'm not always watching.
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
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Leaf
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Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:31 pm

David's at the 'sphere at the moment, Caleb. It would be great if he swung by here, but I appreciate that the former poetry place can be pretty time-consuming!

I've been thinking about promos. I think it would be a good idea to emphasise that we welcome newcomers of all abilities and provide a professional and friendly atmosphere for poetry critique, with opportunities to discuss art and music too :)
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CalebPerry
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Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:51 am

No one has objected to having me, PPE and Leaf running the forum. If there are no objections, we should get under way.

Before I continue, it needs to be acknowledged that Kris (Camus) is essentially the owner of the forum, since he took it over and set it up (and has been paying for it). To make sure that the three of us don't take the forum in the wrong direction, I think Kris should remain an administrator indefinitely, while the three of us do most of the work (but that's up to you, Kris).

Kris, it seems to me that the ball is in your court now. You have suggested that we start a thread to discuss all this, but that would need to be a private thread which is accessible by only the four of us. You can't, for example, tell us how to access the forum software or the hosting site without giving us passwords, and those should be kept secret.

So, please set up a private thread for the four of us, and we'll get started. In that thread, you'll need to instruct us in many things. Once that is done, the burden on you will be lifted.
If you don't like the black theme, it is easy to switch to a lighter color. Just ask me how.

If I don't critique your poem, it is probably because I don't understand it.
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Leaf
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Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:25 pm

Happy with all this, Caleb :)
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Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:05 pm

Another thought: would it be possible to send a little PM to members who haven't been on for a while yet might be interested to know of a few changes to the site? A nudge might be all it takes to stir up some interest and get people posting again.

I'd be happy to help with the admin, by the way, if Caleb and PPE ever need a break themselves :)
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camus
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Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:21 pm

I'm awaiting feedback from existing Mods, just to get a gauge on where we should be heading with this.

I'll keep you informed.

Cheers
Kris
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Leaf
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Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:33 pm

Sounds great, Kris :)

Happy to go with whatever you and the Mods think is best 👍
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