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Oct 14 15 1:37 PM

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First things first: I deeply want to apologize for the forum behavior over the past few days.  I'm just as baffled and frustrated as you are over this, and I've been trying to find answers.  And, unfortunately, my quest to find answers only further shows the incompetence of Yuku.  I tried to e-mail them, but me sending a support ticket meant trying to access this forum, which I couldn't.  They have a Twitter feed, but it hasn't been updated in 32 weeks.  They have a home page, and virtually nothing on it about why their entire service has been out for two days.  Oh, but if you play private investigator and dig through their support portal, I was able to find a network status page.  

http://help.yuku.com/support/discussions/forums/100047

It just says on 10-13-15, their services are down, which I guess none of us could figure out.  There was something more substantive today, which basically says that their technicians are still having trouble with their servers (no shit?), and that their help desk is backlogged.  Additionally, even some of their help forums are down.  It's practically comical.  I can just imagine the Yuku technicians, with their slide calculators and TI-99/4 computers, working really hard to solve this.  When I was trying to deal with them earlier this year with their Tapatalk issues, they basically replied as if I were speaking another language.  So let's say they were already not on my Christmas card list before this week.  Oh, but based on the announcement they plastered on the forum last week, they've made some absolutely stunning changes to their home page!  A note of trivia, by the way: for those old enough to have been on the first iteration of The BBWC (roughly 2004), EZBoard is actually now Yuku.

So I want to tackle this from two angles: first, how did we get to Yuku in the first place and, two, what's the next step?

How We Got Here:

Some of you might remember, but for those who don't: around summer of 2012, our previous owner, Richard (known as doctyper), was unable to continue to run the site, so he handed that responsibility to the moderators at the time: me, Kyle, Torgy, and Greg (Big Blaster), and we needed to find a forum roughly by the offseason.  As it turns out, that's easier said than done, particularly amongst four people who largely had no experience in such matters, because not all forums are equal (as you've been reminded, this week).  Most of the options, believe it or not, were even worse than Yuku at the time.  Beyond the horrid aesthetics from the 1990s, a lot of what we found was pretty lacking and, as hard as it is to believe, Yuku was literally the best option we had at the time.  So given the time constraints, we went with that for the time being, and once I was able to re-design the site, things did start off well enough.  Yuku truly seemed like they had their act together at the time.  Sadly, that turned out to be wrong.  So what's the next step?

The Next Step:

The first thing I'm going to ask is for no one to donate any more money.  I truly appreciate every dollar that all of you have contributed to keeping this site ad-free.  None of it has gone unnoticed, and I've truly been amazed at how supportive everyone has been throughout the nearly three years we've been here.  Thank you all, you are incredible.

But it's the last dollar any of you guys are going to contribute.  Even on a functioning site, no one should have to pay a monthly fee to essentially keep adware from spamming their computers.  I get that Yuku needs to make money, so they can keep up this first class service, but asking people to shell out monthly fees in order to not have 3/4 of the site covered in ads is screwed up.  And if they're going to ask that out of members, then it makes these crashes even more inexecusible.  So the first thing: no more money to these people.

Secondly, some of you might have noticed me talking about the idea of a new forum at times, this year.  It's something I already wanted to do, and after these past two days, it's something we're definitely going to do.  Ideally, I'd like something by the end of the year/beginning of 2016.  For sure by Spring Training.  I know after the past few days, that seems like eternity, but if the past three years of Yuku has taught us anything, it's this: the next forum needs to be done right, from top to bottom.  I don't want to have to keep us moving every 2-3 years, I'd like to find a permanent solution.  So it's critical to find the proper foundation.  So this is where you come in:

As some of you might remember, our old owner was a programming wizard.  He could have annual Christmas forum upgrades, with little snowflakes pouring down the page.  Unfortunately, while I have many strengths, from leading world famous rock bands, to pleasing the ladies, programming is not one of them.  This isn't generally my area, so I don't want to go about trying to do this and utterly screw it up.  So if anyone has any expertise about forums, from the kind we should have, to the best brands and services, anything about domains, hosting, now is the time to let me know.  I want us to have a very modern, kick ass forum, with all the bells and whistles.  It's time, and after all the contributions you guys have given, you deserve this in return.

From my limited research, and experiences, I've heard many great things about Xenforo.  

https://xenforo.com

It's highly rated and talked about.  Once you buy a lifetime license for the forum itself, then I think you pay other companies for them to host it, and then buy the domain.  For anyone in the know, does this sound right?  Are there any other, preferable services?  Anyone have experiences with this area?

Finally, for the membership in general: outside of the forum, you know, actually functioning, what type of features do you want to see in the next iteration?  Feel free to use this thread to voice your wishes, big or small.  I can't guarantee every one of them will be used, but I want to make wherever we go next to be something all of us can really enjoy.  

So let the discussion begin.
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#1 [url]

Oct 14 15 1:35 PM

Matthew, all I can say is we all appreciate the work you (and the other mods) have put into this awesome site. The reason it is awesome is not due to yuku, but the quality of mods and posters you have attracted. I have been posting here since I can't remember (formerly as Sam Adams). No other site offers the kind of coherent dialog that we have here. All I can say is that I trust your judgment and that this yuku major failure couldn't have timed out much worse.

I'll be traveling to LA tomorrow, so you probably won't here much from me, but I just wanted to say "Thank You" for all the good work.

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#2 [url]

Oct 14 15 1:38 PM

Thank you Matthew for your efforts, and everyone for keeping the core together of posters.  I think a lot of us date back to the days of the dodger website and when Ben Platt would censor us to death.  I haven't posted much over the past few years because, 1) I was operating a blog and 2) my job transfer 18 months ago has taken over my life, not allowing me to engage in the forum posting.  I do read it everyday and have enjoyed the interaction and banter over that time.


When you guys were searching for a new site a few years back, I reached out to a fellow blogger, Ron Cervenka, who operates a forum over at his site, "ThinkBlueLA.com." He was enthusiastic about reaching out and inviting you over there, but he waited too long to act, and by then you had migrated over to yuku.  So I'm throwing this out there.  Ron initially started as a forum.  He responded to my blog article one day and we struck up a friendship, played some softball together at the Dodger blogger softball tourney, met up at Spring Training and then he eventually expanded his format into a blog.  He's a regular in the Dodger Press Box now.  You'll see him with the movers and shakers in the industry (Eric Stephen, Kevin Kennedy, Dylan Hernandez, etc...).  He was considering dropping the forum portion of his page a few years ago, but the regular contributors he has convinced him not to.  I know he wants his forum to improve substantially.  I think he'd welcome a major influx of contributors from BBWC, plus your knowledge of the game would raise his page's IQ measurably.

So Im throwing it out there.  There's always the thinkbluela.com forum, and you wouldn't have to deal with membership fees, server crashes, etc.  He has a guy that monitors the site and keeps it running smoothly.  At least so far anyway.  His forum has several categories that include "inside the lines," "outside the lines," "photos," "collectibles," and more.  If you're interested in this option, let me know and I'll call him up and get you guys plugged in.  There are basic rules of the site, but nothing out of the ordinary.  No personal attacks,  attempts to ease off on the profanity.  things like that, but I'd have to review that.

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#3 [url]

Oct 14 15 6:37 PM

I want to add my thanks to you for doing so much on our behalf. I really enjoy being a part of this and only the incompetence of whoever runs Yuku rains on our parade.

I too go back to the Ben Platt days and would be open to considering something like truebluela but just want to make sure we don't find ourselves in the position of being subject to posts by insufferable morons like old bear. This board has been an oasis relative to those days. I have no idea if that would be a problem if we "merged" but would hate to see that sort of problem arise and just want us to make sure that never becomes an issue again.

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#4 [url]

Oct 14 15 7:12 PM

I've been around since the good ole "Platt days" as well. I've always been mostly a lurker that never really posted a whole lot, but I'm ALWAYS here. You guys are my "baseball family" and the first place I go for my Dodgers fix. I want to give a BIG thanks to those of you that have kept this place (and the older ones) going. I would miss our group tremendously if it ever went away.

I'm definitely behind going to another forum.We all know Yuku sucks balls, now more than ever. Personally, I like the relatively small group we have here. Everyone is here is knowledgeable and everyone brings their own "flavor" to the site. Even though I don't post much, I almost feel like I know all of you. I've been on other sites/forums with many, many more members and posters, but I find those sites just to be a big headache. Just too many people posting and it's too much work to keep up. Or maybe I'm just getting too old :)

Whatever is decided, I'm following you guys wherever we go. You guys are my Dodger Family. WE HAVE TO KEEP THE BAND TOGETHER!!! :)

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#5 [url]

Oct 15 15 2:31 AM

First, let me add my thanks to the guys who run the joint. In all fairness, Yuku has mostly been pretty stable since we moved here (except their mobile app, which has achieved a level of suckitude previously thought to be unachievable). But I agree, it's time to move on.

I don't know anything about ThinkBlueLA, but would such a move require us to integrate with another existing group? Do we want that or do we want to remain in our own private space?

Anyway, I do have some basic knowledge of websites but not programming. Basically, here's how it works: Site owners buy a domain (somename.com) and you usually pay once a year or once every two years. It's not terribly expensive especially when shared by a group of people. Then you find a hosting company (godaddy.com, for example) and purchase a hosting plan, which typically comes with X number of emails, X amount of storage, PHP, some kind of database, etc. I have a professional site for my side writing business and I do everything through godaddy. Sometimes godaddy has server issues but they are very popular and pretty well supported. I've never had too many issues with them with a single website. It's a one-stop shop. Next, you have to build the site. A lot of websites now use WordPress, which is very easy to deal with because it comes with a large variety of site templates. You just add the WordPress template to the site and then do a little configuration and minor coding, but it's made extremely easy. I've done it. And WordPress is open source so it's free and updates itself automatically. I've never had a problem with it, although once every few years they release a version that requires a little re-configuring of the site at the hosting company. Again, not difficult. I'm not sure of the quality and depth of features that come with WordPress forum templates, but I know they're out there. Just google it.

Perhaps we can look into simply getting our own site, buying our own domain, and sharing the annual costs of both and look into a WordPress forum template.

Just as an example, GoDaddy has a deal for a WordPress site hosting for 3.99 a month for a single website with 10GB of storage and capacity for 25,000 visitors a month. That's just an example for cost estimating purposes. You can also ignore WordPress completely and sign up with another Forum site like Yuku but I suspect we may run into similar problems there and we would have to do our homework and pick the best reviewed forum site (uh, not Yuku).

So there you go. Some info to chew on while we wait for Greinke and the Dodgers to crush the Mets and their spirit.

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#6 [url]

Oct 15 15 6:32 AM

Ah, Ben Platt, haven't thought about that miserable son of a bitch in years. Damn, almost miss those missives from him threatening and then banning me for just about anything. I think the best was when I suggested that he try something with a ferret, some lighter fluid and a match and stick the whole thing up his backside. His suggestion that I had anger issues was noted.

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#7 [url]

Oct 15 15 6:45 AM

I hope we can find something that will work for all of us. It is obvious that money is not an issue, so that is not a worry. I like Vicente Romo's idea but I am more for "our" site and Matthew's suggestion of Xenofro sounds pretty good. I did some research and they get high marks for the same things that Yuku doesn't. Mind you, I have all of the techno knowledge of a concussed caveman so I am the last person to make judgements in this area. Whatever you guys decide, I am good with. I almost wish I had some better skills at this computer thing, but typing, looking at pictures and buying things is about all I can handle.

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#8 [url]

Oct 15 15 10:58 AM

I'm more in favor with having our own site. I do frequent TBLA and the posters there are very good, however they have their own niche. I've tried to post there a few times, and it seems like I get treatment of "stay in the corner, this is our play area", but maybe I'm taking that the wrong way.

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#9 [url]

Oct 15 15 11:01 AM

As stated, I wholeheartedly agree with a move, but just a bit of a warning: I think folks are gonna get pretty fed up with writing posts, only to see they aren't there anymore the next time they log - which has happened to me twice since Wednesday night. Some were quite detailed. A couple more of those, and I'm gonna check out, for obvious reasons.

I'm happy to help with the move. You guys know the extent of my internet capabilities. I'm kinda like your typical car driver: I know just enough about how my cars function to be dangerous to myself and others.

Last Edited By: monsooner Oct 15 15 11:27 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#10 [url]

Oct 15 15 11:41 AM

Thanks, guys, for all the kind words.  It's much appreciated, although you guys make my job incredibly easy.  I'll get to all the helpful comments later, but Kyle's post reminded me of something I forgot to mention: regarding the disappearing posts lately, Yuku's new support forum (ironically, not hosted on Yuku) has a post explaining why this is happening:

http://samporpass.com/index.php?topic=309.0

The short of it, while your posts are disappearing, they're not actually gone.  It has to due with their servers lagging behind, and once it catches up, things should be back to normal.  But fear not, your posts aren't actually getting deleted.

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#12 [url]

Oct 15 15 12:15 PM

First off, I want to thank Matthew and all the others for all the work they do on this site. Your work is greatly appreciated. Please do not ever think our gripes about the website are directed at you; they are without exception directed at Yuku and its serial failures.


Like Derrikm, I'm mostly a lurker and not a poster. I think I'm up to about 10 posts per year these days. Most of the time, I find that an issue has been fully discussed by the time I have time to write a response and at that point, I don't feel my response is necessary. Good job, guys!

Still, I generally find the conversation on this Board to be intelligent, lively and worth reading. BBWC is usually the first place I look for Dodger news and information.

Going forward, I am more in favor of maintaining our own board rather than combining with another one. If that requires that we all contribute a monthly fee to do this, I have no objection to that. 

And, Matthew, if you need some help researching options, please feel free to contact me. I may not know much about setting up web-sites, but I'm pretty damn good at doing web research and I'm be happy to help.

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#15 [url]

Oct 15 15 2:42 PM

I don't blame any of you guys for being reluctant about migrating over the ThinkBlueLA.  I know there are concerns about how we'd be accepted.  To that I say look at the site because every time a new member signs up there is an outpouring of welcomes from the forum faithful.  I will warn you that there is one guy over there, "Old Brooklyn Fan" who is a bit slow and can be annoying, (he's an 80 something year old guy, lives in Brooklyn...completely harmless).  Ron calls him out on his stupidity when it surfaces, but he's just an old guy that is kind of slow.  But for the most part, they are very welcoming over there.  The site "TrueBlueLA.com" is a bit different, much bigger audience and less user friendly site.  The ThinkBlueLA folks are only about 20 regular posters and I think they'd be thrilled to have you guys join them.


I only threw the idea out there because there wouldn't be the forum maintenance issues.  Additionally, there are different topics that are similar to here (minors, game day threads, outside baseball, memorabilia, photo sharing, etc).  If you want, I can have Ron Cervenka reach out and extend an invite.  He might have more to add.  He's a good guy.  Retired cop, fantasy camp participant, dedicated to all things Dodgers.  Just let me know wha the consensus is.

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#16 [url]

Oct 17 15 7:18 AM

Throwdeuce wrote:
I'm more in favor with having our own site. I do frequent TBLA and the posters there are very good, however they have their own niche. I've tried to post there a few times, and it seems like I get treatment of "stay in the corner, this is our play area", but maybe I'm taking that the wrong way.

I get this too.   I think I have made about sixty to seventy posts there and aside from a reply from one poster, I have felt like I was invading their clubhouse and should just sit in the corner and be quiet.  It is their play area and unless you are invited in, you are just an outsider.    As for Dodgers Digest, I do not get that site.   It seems like the hipster Dodger site and unless you are a 'cool kid' you will not even be tolerated.    The other sites I used to post on are either dead, on life support or just plain moronic.    I have been telling myself to visit Vicente Romo's suggestion, but haven't gone there yet.   I would love to have our own site, but it makes some sense to join a thriving site and see if we can play with the older kids.    Herself hopes that if we do have our own site, more of the female gender play.   She doesn't mind playing with the boys, but she is worried that she may come off as silly by trying to keep up.  

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#18 [url]

Oct 17 15 11:04 AM

monsooner wrote:
I vote for our own site - not to merge. Not that I don't like ThinkblueLA or Truebluela, but there is a flavor here that can't be found anywhere else.

Would that be the 'cherry licking good horn dog flavor'? 

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#19 [url]

Oct 17 15 11:30 AM

Forum Update: State of The BBWC

Count me in for our own site. I don't mind contributing if there is a cost. Been with this crew since the days of the auld board and on here daily even though I only sporadically post.

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#20 [url]

Oct 17 15 12:28 PM

I'd prefer keeping our own site rather than being absorbed into someone else's community. However, I wish there was a way to recruit some new regular members. This site has lost a LOT of regulars over the years and hasn't replaced any of them. The tone gets a little monotonous with the same 8 people posting 95% of the notes.

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