An announcement to the forum's membership

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An announcement to the forum's membership

Postby Phoenix » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:52 am

When I opened this forum less than a week ago, I said immediately that I considered its existence as an alternative to M*'s forum to be "not a good thing". The value of any forum is diminished if its lifeblood - the membership that posts and reads - is scattered. I offered to transfer the forum to diehards.org or to shut the forum down if M* would address the issues that prompted the opening of this site. A few days later, one of the proprietors of diehards.org (Alex aka lowwall) posted here suggesting a combination and Mel Lindauer encouraged us.

Alex and I have been talking with Mel facilitating. With very high probability, the end result of those discussions will be the movement of this forum to diehards.org. That has a number of benefits, most important being the co-location of this forum and the existing diehards.org front end to the M* forum.

I am writing this post because moving the forum to diehards.org leaves loose ends hanging in the form of commitments that I made to the members here at or after opening.

  • I promised you no trolls on this forum. My opinion is that VGDH at M* came near the precipice because forum management would not deal with one person who trashed thread after thread after thread. I value free speech as highly as anyone but I also value peace and sanity for thousands of innocents whose meeting place was vandalized by one man.
  • I promised you no advertising. With hosting costing nearly nothing these days and with very capable forum software available for free, it is my opinion that advertising is not necessary to carry a forum. To carry advertising for products that are antithetical to the mission of a forum in order to defray miniscule expenses is a tragedy of misplaced priorities.
  • I promised you that the forum would claim no copyright in what you posted. Your words are your property as far as I am concerned.
  • I promised you that I would not disclose information that could be used to identify you to any third party, absent a court order. The site diehards.org and its proprietors are third parties and I will need to know whether I can pass on such information, in particular, your email address and the IP address(es) you post from.

I am not a proprietor at diehards.org and I am not asking to be a proprietor. As a result, I will not be able to ensure these commitments are kept after the forum is transferred.

I ask Alex to post a followup to this message either committing diehards.org to the above or not, as he sees fit. I ask all of you to wait to see what Alex has to say about these items on behalf of diehards.org before posting any followups yourself. If what Alex commits to will be unsatisfactory to you after the forum moves to diehards.org, then make your feelings known, either in this thread or by email / PM to me. I insist that you wait for Alex to have his say.

No one is better off with two similar forums running and three entry points. Some Diehards are reading only one of the forums. Others are checking both and sometimes posting on both, which is extra work. The software on this forum is better, it looks to me like all of you have made this forum a busier place than M* VGDH is these days, but that does not change the simple truth that all Diehards would gain if all Diehards were in one place. That's why I'm talking to Alex and why Alex is talking to me. We are both interested in a better Diehards forum and we are sure that all of you are too.
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Postby Alex Frakt » Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:02 pm

I agree to maintain all of the commitments made by Phoenix: no trolls, no ads, no release of private information, no claims of copyright over anything posted by you.

In fact, I wouldn't have it any other way. Diehards.org has actually been operating since 2001 under these same rules to the extent that we were able. The exception has been the troll patrol, which has always been out of our hands since we were just passively mirroring links from Morningstar.

To ensure that the trolls and other problems which have persisted for so long at M* do not emerge here, Phoenix has agreed to both stay with us as a [moderator/site admin] and to be in charge of recruiting a group of moderators from among the most respected bogleheads.

Alex Frakt,
Co-founder of diehards.org
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Postby Mel Lindauer » Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:08 pm

Hi Guys:

I'm so pleased to hear that Phoenix will be staying on as an administrator/moderator. I was going to suggest that, but I thought perhaps he didn't want to be bothered with it on an ongoing basis.

Personally, I like his style and the way he heads off potential problems at the pass. He seems to have great ideas, be receptive to other's ideas, and be a very fair, firm and flexible administrator. Just what's needed.

So, thanks to both of you, I have no doubt that this forum will grow and prosper.

Best regards,

Mel
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Postby Phoenix » Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:04 pm

The members have the floor.
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Postby TnGuy » Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:16 pm

Thanks to all who are working here and making this consolidation happen. You are doing a very good, fair and responsible job within a somewhat tough and also delicate situation.

Congratulations most certainly are in order! And one certain measure of success is the rather amazing rate of growth here - and all in such a short time-frame!


David
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Do I understand...

Postby TimDex » Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:34 pm

...that what you're saying is that a forum like this, with its capabilities, will handle the front end responsibilities now assumed by diehards.org? That essentially we would come to one place, with new capabilities, and be capable of linking to M-Star?

I like everything that's been said, but just wanted to try and get a handle on what the format will be. Thanks everyone, for the tremendous time and work that's gone into this.

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Re: Do I understand...

Postby Phoenix » Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:44 pm

TimDex wrote:...that what you're saying is that a forum like this, with its capabilities, will handle the front end responsibilities now assumed by diehards.org? That essentially we would come to one place, with new capabilities, and be capable of linking to M-Star?

The idea is that both this forum and the M* forum will be accessible via diehards.org. This forum will in fact be running on their domain. The threads at M*'s forum will be linked probably pretty much as they are now.

It's up to Alex and Larry how they will shoehorn this forum in visually at diehards.org. I claim no visual design skills and doubt I can help them much in that regard. I am happy to help in any way I can with the internal workings of this forum and to get policies and moderators in place that will ensure its long term health.
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for diehards.org

Postby gbs » Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:15 pm

I am pro having this forum hosted on diehards.org and having links to the M* forum as well.

Glad to see Phoenix is staying with us as an admin/moderator!

gbs
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Information

Postby EyeDee » Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:55 pm

.
Pheonix,

I see this as being like the merger of two companies. Sounds like diehards.org will have one section similar to today's environment and a second section similar to today's environment at diehardsforum.org. Add to that the fact you will be staying on as an administrator/moderator and it seems to me that you would not be disclosing information to a third party since the new organization would be a superset of (merger with) the old diehardsforum.org.

Hopefully, others will also comment, but either way I feel comfortable with you passing on my current profile information. It also will avoid having to start all over a third time.

Thank you,
Randy
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Postby ncrews » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:18 pm

Not being a technical person, I am not sure what is happening. I understand that both the existing m* forum and this forum will somehow be linked and accessible only through diehard.org. That there will continue to be 2 sites both of which will only be accessible through the one site. However, that does not seem to me to be much different than the current situation. Could someone please elaborate a bit for us slower non-tech folks.

warm regards,

Norm
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Postby Wagnerjb » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:36 pm

Phoenix and Alex: I would also like to endorse the suggestion you both have made. I owe a debt to you both: to Phoenix for making this improved site happen and to Alex for his work in maintaining Diehards.org.

May I suggest a new page on Diehards.org? How about one page (it can be the entry page if you like), listing the current conversations on both sites? Maybe the left side of the page shows the current M* conversations, while the right side shows this new site's conversations. With this format, people can see the complete set of converstations at one glance. If somebody was only interested in say TIPs, they could - in one place - see all the conversations and access those on TIPs.

Of course, this wouldn't prevent a M* poster from going direct to the M* site and just accessing those conversations. Same for somebody who didn't want to use M* - they could access the new forum directly as well.

While I don't think it is possible to please everybody here, the suggested solution seems to go a long way in finding a solution that keeps as many of the outstanding posters connected with each other.

Best wishes.
Andy
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Change.....

Postby Random Musings » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:01 pm

Hopefully, the transition to diehards.org will be relatively seamless and at least be able to provide some of the key technological improvements available on this board - there are some clear advantages with respect to ease of use on this board - I guess for the people who will be performing the "behind the scenes" work, it will be how to prioritize those improvements, because they all require sweat equity in order to get the job done.

I'm sure the timeframe for such a transition is being worked on right now.

Good Luck on the team's endeavors.

RM
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Postby norm » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:09 pm

My main concern is that the technical superiority of this format will be continued to be used. Is that true?

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Postby Yuba » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:10 pm

I also think it is a great idea to merge this into the diehards.org site.

I'm sure the visual issues can be resolved, but with the ability of this message board to have separate forums for different subjects, it may be difficult to "show" all new threads on a single page, unless you have a view similar to the "View new posts since last visit" screen.

Rick dba Yuba
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Postby alvinsch » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:34 pm

FWIW: You have my blessing to merge with diehards.org and appreciation all you've done.

Thanks
- Al
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Postby orthros » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:31 pm

norm wrote:My main concern is that the technical superiority of this format will be continued to be used. Is that true?

Norm


I second this. I love how easy this is to use and would hate to see that functionality go by the way side.
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Postby Russell F. » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:46 pm

I've been running this message board software for several years at my website, and I love the thought that this interface will continue to be used for the Diehards in the Vanguard chapter of the Diehards gang. So a merger is fine with me.

Carry on as you best see fit.


Best,

Russell F.
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Reply to Norm and Orthros

Postby Mel Lindauer » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:31 am

Hi Norm and Orthros:


norm wrote:
My main concern is that the technical superiority of this format will be continued to be used. Is that true?

Norm


I second this. I love how easy this is to use and would hate to see that functionality go by the way side.



Actually, it will be this exact same forum software that you're using now. The only difference is that it will be running on a different server at diehards.org.

Regards,

Mel
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Postby fire5soon » Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:52 am

orthros wrote:
norm wrote:My main concern is that the technical superiority of this format will be continued to be used. Is that true?

Norm


I second this. I love how easy this is to use and would hate to see that functionality go by the way side.


The format is a very important advantage in my eyes for the new board over the old one. I'd hate to see that change.
A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. - Bob Dylan
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Interface

Postby gbs » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:47 am

I am not that concerned with the future initial interface for the www.diehards.org as WE (as a collective) have complete control over it and can be changed to accommodate OUR needs.

gbs
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Postby jms969 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:04 pm

Personally I would prefer not to have any affiliation with M*... It took a mass exodus before M* listened to their users and frankly M* does not deserve the loyalty of the Diehards.

IMHO,

JMS
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Listening

Postby CyberBob » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:32 pm

jms969 wrote:It took a mass exodus before M* listened to their users...


Have they listened? From what I've seen in other people's posts, they have been ignoring the same comments for years and soliciting comments now is just a smokescreen to try and smooth ruffled feathers.
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Re: Listening

Postby jms969 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:40 pm

CyberBob wrote:
jms969 wrote:It took a mass exodus before M* listened to their users...


Have they listened? From what I've seen in other people's posts, they have been ignoring the same comments for years and soliciting comments now is just a smokescreen to try and smooth ruffled feathers.


I don't disagree... I think we should tell them to hit the road!!!
I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming like the passengers in his car.
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What it will look like.

Postby Alex Frakt » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:24 pm

Initially the diehards.org home page will be a static version of what's there now, with the list of current posts over at M* being replaced with links to, and a description of, both forums.

This forum will then be moved to our server when Phoenix's schedule permits, but the only thing that will change is the location - the software, the posts, the members and mods will all be moved as is. We'll even set up a redirect from diehardsforum.org so you'll be automatically forwarded after we do the switchover.

Eventually the plan is to have the latest posts from this forum appear on the diehards.org home page. We will always provide at least a link to the old forum from the home page, but what else we provide to M* depends on what our users want and how much time we can spare to keep the M* indexing working.

For those who don't know, diehards.org has no official connection with M*, they have never even acknowledged our existence. I created the original site that became diehards.org to make it easier to follow the posts back when M* only sorted posts by conversation number. Larry added a vastly improved engine for searching old posts. But since M* won't work with us, we had to hand code everything. Even worse, every time M* makes a change, we have to figure out what they've done and change our code to accomodate it. This can take considerable time that we don't always have, that's why the search engine is now several months out of date.

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I approve

Postby blacktupelo » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:38 pm

As a reader and sometimes poster to the M* and now the new forum, I give my thumbs up to the move to diehards.org. You have my permission to transfer my user info to diehards.org.

Thanks to Phoenix and lowall for all the effort and ongoing support to this community who learn from each other's efforts.
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Re: I approve

Postby jms969 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:53 pm

blacktupelo wrote:As a reader and sometimes poster to the M* and now the new forum, I give my thumbs up to the move to diehards.org. You have my permission to transfer my user info to diehards.org.

Thanks to Phoenix and lowall for all the effort and ongoing support to this community who learn from each other's efforts.


Agreed many thanks to Phoenix and lowall!!!!!!!

My terse remarks were not directed at them but at M*. I think cutting all ties with M* would be the appropriate thing to do...

Cheers,

JMS
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Postby Dino » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:42 pm

Being a newbie what I write may not hold much weight, but I am all for the proposed (in progress, I believe ) changes. Go for it!

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