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Old 04-17-2019, 09:42 AM   #41
bobthebuilder
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Re: New Forum Discussion

I agree we should move, and probably sooner rather than later. If for whatever reason the site goes down again we'll be scrambling and re-congregating on one site will be even more difficult.


I agree with the series of votes, I think it would be worth while to set an outline of the process, with critical dates for votes. Sticky it in the most visible portion of the forum and give everyone a chance to vote.
  1. Stay or go (I think we are already in agreement so we can probably skip this vote)
  2. Domain name
  3. Webhosting Software
  4. Admin/Moderator team

It might also be a good idea to start a separate feature request/suggestion thread to get all of our gripes/wishes with the current site in one place
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:46 AM   #42
Equilibria
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthebuilder View Post
I agree we should move, and probably sooner rather than later. If for whatever reason the site goes down again we'll be scrambling and re-congregating on one site will be even more difficult.


I agree with the series of votes, I think it would be worth while to set an outline of the process, with critical dates for votes. Sticky it in the most visible portion of the forum and give everyone a chance to vote.
  1. Stay or go (I think we are already in agreement so we can probably skip this vote)
  2. Domain name
  3. Webhosting Software
  4. Admin/Moderator team

It might also be a good idea to start a separate feature request/suggestion thread to get all of our gripes/wishes with the current site in one place
A couple of responses:

1) We MUST vote to stay or go. There may be some silent members who would appreciate a voice in that.

2) We can probably do the domain name and hosting software in a single poll, and skills in the hosting package we choose might be a criterion for picking admins.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:22 AM   #43
Beton Brut
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Re: New Forum Discussion

I've been following this discussion but haven't commented for reasons I'm not sure I can reliably explain. With it comes the ever so faint odor of betrayal. I feel odd expressing this sentiment; that's my problem, not any of yours.

I suppose the concept of decamping from here to a new venue that's more stable and feature-rich is a relatively simple matter. In a way, it reminds me of a quote by the poet Marvin Bell, in his obituary for his teacher, Donald Justice:
"As a teacher, Don chose always to be on the side of the poem, defending it from half-baked attacks by students anxious to defend their own turf."
With those sentiments in mind, I think it's fair to say that all of us are on the side of the community, the content, the dialog. Preserving it, fertilizing it, and promoting it are all imperatives.

Some things to consider:
  1. Should we have a system of governance to help moderators administer the site?
  2. Do we need a code of conduct to foster robust but rational and respectful discourse?
  3. Should moderators have terms, or duty-cycles?
  4. Should new members have a probationary period?

A couple of suggestions:
  • A sub-forum for matters specific to historic preservation;
  • A sub-forum for those who are actively engaged public processes with the BPDA, MBTA, Massport, MassDOT, or other public agencies.

To close, I'm flattered to see my name bandied about as a potential moderator. I also know that over the years, I've expressed ideas that some have found disagreeable. If it's put to an inconclusive vote and I'm among those selected, I'd do my best to be even-handed.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:33 AM   #44
Suffolk 83
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Re: New Forum Discussion

I'm all for moving before the website just up and disappears again. If anything is needed of me let me know.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:38 AM   #45
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Re: New Forum Discussion

I'd just like to chime in with bringing back the yearly awards/HOF, and would be willing to help organize that section and polling on the new site.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:18 AM   #46
statler
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beton Brut View Post
I've been following this discussion but haven't commented for a reasons I'm not sure I can reliably explain. With it comes the ever so faint odor of betrayal.
As the kids say now-a-days: I feel this.

Quote:
Should we have a system of governance to help moderators administer the site?
Do we need a code of conduct to foster robust but rational and respectful discourse?
RULES?! WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' RULES!! (But seriously, this is an important and difficult discussion we are going to need to have.)

Quote:
Should moderators have terms, or duty-cycles?
There may be a down side to this that is not readily apparent to me but I really like this idea

Quote:
Should new members have a probationary period?
Sure, I have always given new member (back when we had some) more scrutiny than established members but I guess it would be a good idea to codify it.

Quote:
A sub-forum for matters specific to historic preservation;
Yes, Please and Please! Yes!

Quote:
A sub-forum for those who are actively engaged public processes with the BPDA, MBTA, Massport, MassDOT, or other public agencies.
I'm interested in seeing this idea fleshed out a bit more fully. I'm not really sure what you are envisioning.

Quote:
To close, I'm flattered to see my name bandied about as a potential moderator. I also know that over the years, I've expressed ideas that some have found disagreeable. If it's put to an inconclusive vote and I'm among those selected, I'd do my best to be even-handed.
One Yay vote here.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:07 PM   #47
nm88
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Happy to follow our current moderator's inclinations. I commend them and thank them for their fine service. I know we are all grateful.

A vote seems appropriate. Financial contributions, as well. Count me in.

Rules of conduct, hard to define and hard to enforce, sound tempting - but who would play cop? As long as we can continue to block unwanted contributions from erratic contributors.

New members would significantly improve our forum. Those of us who have been around for a while can speak to how the quality has ebbed and flowed.

DRFree, thanks for starting this.

And Briv, you're in our thoughts.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:19 PM   #48
Beton Brut
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by statler View Post
I'm interested in seeing this idea fleshed out a bit more fully. I'm not really sure what you are envisioning.
So first-off, this is an idea, not my idea. I'm really interested to know what people think.

The possible need occurred to me through our collective involvement in the efforts to save the Arlington Building a decade ago. And about a year ago, data dropped this bit of empowering wisdom:

Quote:
Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
...aB could be so much more with the proper user engagement and retention strategies. It could be a true resource for Boston development with better organization rather than a jumble of threads.
There have always been pointed arguments about NIMBYism on every imaginable thread. Even the least thoughtful among us knows that this is a layered, nuanced discussion. Subjective concepts become objective through the blurring lenses of ideology and personal interest. I'm of the opinion that of late, the tone on some threads has tilted more closely toward less-than-thoughtful objectivity about the role of activists and their methods and intentions to challenge developers and/or civic agencies over the efficacy and benefits of certain large scale projects.

To be clear, I'm interested in seeing a sub-forum created for those who are civically engaged and want to discuss issues with a broader community. The intent isn't a safe-space for the change-adverse, but instead, a civil and inclusive battleground for ideas and opinions. It would invite well reasoned arguments, details and processes, goals and objectives, lessons learned, and knowledge sought. Some will read, others will post, and others will "fight city hall." Most important, everyone will be held to account to keep the discussion elevated. Learn from your opponents, and be generous to them.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:33 PM   #49
Equilibria
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beton Brut View Post
SThere have always been pointed arguments about NIMBYism on every imaginable thread. Even the least thoughtful among us knows that this is a layered, nuanced discussion. Subjective concepts become objective through the blurring lenses of ideology and personal interest. I'm of the opinion that of late, the tone on some threads has tilted more closely toward less-than-thoughtful objectivity about the role of activists and their methods and intentions to challenge developers and/or civic agencies over the efficacy and benefits of certain large scale projects.

To be clear, I'm interested in seeing a sub-forum created for those who are civically engaged and want to discuss issues with a broader community. The intent isn't a safe-space for the change-adverse, but instead, a civil and inclusive battleground for ideas and opinions. It would invite well reasoned arguments, details and processes, goals and objectives, lessons learned, and knowledge sought. Some will read, others will post, and others will "fight city hall." Most important, everyone will be held to account to keep the discussion elevated. Learn from your opponents, and be generous to them.

Thoughts?
To me it's not about NIMBYism or height fetishism or anything ideological. I see a need for a pane for each project or a set of articles that are "just the facts," potentially with some context but without editorializing. When someone else posts a new PNF or other project announcement, I always try to download and read it before I scroll down, so that I can develop an understanding of what's being proposed before I see the parade of "they could go so much taller here," "this is why we can't have nice things," "New York/Philadelphia/Washington/San Francisco is kicking our asses," "how dare they build on the site of a dive bar I loved in 1972"...

For projects, we need the renders and documents with potentially a knowledgeable member's summary of the history of the project/site. For concepts like MBTA extensions, we need one or two well-edited summaries of what is and isn't possible and what has been proposed in the real world in years past. You can't prevent trolls from trolling, but you can head off a lot of the genuinely curious/creative people who post about things we've discussed ad nauseam over the years and educate them before they post.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:46 PM   #50
bobthebuilder
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Re: New Forum Discussion

On the matter of new members & probationary periods, I always thought it odd that you only need 100 or so comments to be a "Senior Member". I think a new ranking system with more levels would help sort out who really contributes. Maybe we make it something fun?

Also, just looking at the member list:
  1. We have 200-250 members that I would call regular-active. I'm drawing the line at people who have visited in the past month
  2. If we expand it to 6 months, that ~300-350 members.
  3. then if you count basically everyone that's visited since the start of 2018, that's still only ~450 members
  4. the remaining 1,400 I would consider totally inactive. So maybe the move will be good to sort of reset our membership


A couple options of "fun" ranking system. These may be more confusing than they are useful but I felt it was fun to throw them out there:
  1. Apprentice
  2. Journeyman
  3. Master
  4. Foreman
  1. Intern
  2. Field Engineer
  3. Assistant Project Manager
  4. Project Manager
  5. Project Executive
  1. Intern
  2. Drafter
  3. Associate
  4. Partner
  5. Principal
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Old 04-17-2019, 01:18 PM   #51
fattony
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobthebuilder View Post
  1. Intern
  2. Drafter
  3. Associate
  4. Partner
  5. Principal
This!!
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Old 04-17-2019, 01:52 PM   #52
Equilibria
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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Originally Posted by fattony View Post
This!!
Not that it's all that important, but I'd prefer something less specific to the architecture field. Having these as badges on every user would send a message that this is an architecture forum. All jokes aside, it hasn't been solely that for quite some time, if it ever was.
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:00 PM   #53
Beton Brut
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibria View Post
To me it's not about NIMBYism or height fetishism or anything ideological. I see a need for a pane for each project or a set of articles that are "just the facts," potentially with some context but without editorializing.

For projects, we need the renders and documents with potentially a knowledgeable member's summary of the history of the project/site. For concepts like MBTA extensions, we need one or two well-edited summaries of what is and isn't possible and what has been proposed in the real world in years past.
I totally understand where your coming from; the intent isn't to segregate or filter out posting about urban planning or transit policy from individual project threads. Instead, it's to create specified area for broad, interconnected discussions on these matters, with a provisions for those of us who regularly attend public meetings and respond to calls for public comment.

Your thinking about having a "header" on each thread with an executive summary of renderings and a project description is spot-on.

Point of order:
We're three pages deep in this discussion already. I suggest two separate threads, one for the technical discussions of preferred forum software/platform, scraping and data migration, and a second for content guidelines and governance.
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Last edited by Beton Brut; 04-18-2019 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:23 PM   #54
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Re: New Forum Discussion

The most important thing is what riff on ___-XIT are we going to call this action?
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:35 PM   #55
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
The most important thing is what riff on ___-XIT are we going to call this action?
ARCHXMBLY.BOSTON ?

edit: totally misread what you were going for
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:39 PM   #56
Beton Brut
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
The most important thing is what riff on ___-XIT are we going to call this action?
Disaffexit? Dysfunxit?

The more I think about it, this is more of an evolution than a migration (in the interest of avoiding extinction).
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:09 PM   #57
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Re: New Forum Discussion

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Originally Posted by Equilibria View Post
Not that it's all that important, but I'd prefer something less specific to the architecture field. Having these as badges on every user would send a message that this is an architecture forum. All jokes aside, it hasn't been solely that for quite some time, if it ever was.
I agree completely. This is much more than an architecture forum. I think the most logical thing is a simple Probational member, junior member, member, senior member, etc. kind of set-up.

Or..orrrr.. we can hit all aspects of construction, from the laborer to the top.
  1. Laborer
  2. Subcontractor
  3. General Contractor
  4. Architect
  5. Developer
  6. BPDA (moderators)
  7. NIMBY (admins, because ultimately they can put their foot down and put a hault to discussion lol)
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:11 PM   #58
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Poll is up here in case you missed it: http://www.archboston.org/community/...ead.php?t=5802 (Thanks, Statler.)

We may want to have a definite end date for voting, though I'm not sure what that should be.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:18 PM   #59
nm88
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Small comment/thought. I check in here daily. However, I do not always log in. That makes my electronic attendance not accurate. Unless I misunderstand. Very possible.

I am not a picture-contributor, so my value to this forum (in my own mind) is minimal. But I do look forward to checking in and perusing and I would miss that if my membership was somehow reduced.

Intern? Hmm.

Honestly, I only log-in when my frustration with the trolls in our midst reaches intolerance.

Just a thought. And a hope that we keep it democratic.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:25 PM   #60
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Re: New Forum Discussion

Hi everyone, an update:

I have not put in as much work into getting a scraper together as i would have liked (I've been busy with work this week) and with the holiday coming up I'm not sure much more is going to get done this weekend lol.

But with that said, I think I would like to get sorted out first: who is going to host the site, and what forum software to use. It looks like Xenforo is in the lead, and I have never used it before (as a host) so I'm interested to see the new features it will bring. Looking at everyones comments, I see some very good ideas to bring to the new forum, some of which I have already thought about. Mainly, the first post must contain all renders and stats. And I'm hoping with a larger admin team we can accomplish this with ease.

Once domain/forum software are sorted out it should be much easier to move into archive mode, since I will know what kind of database to export the information to. I have looked into what blackdog had posted and was not successful in using that code, although I'm probably not the right person to rewrite it. (thank you meddle, blackdog, and equil for your efforts, maybe we can all get together on discord or somewhere are work through this?)

I will also look into a kickstarter/gofundme/etc for those who wish to contribute to purchase the xenforo license.
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