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  1. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVPete View Post
    RO wasn't destroyed per se. From what JohnGalt told me in an email, when he got notification from his alarm SW, he was able to shut it down. The hacker(s) were after members' personal email addies and such, but didn't get it. JG could have re-opened RO after he cleaned stuff up but chose not to because his personal availability was so limited that he didn't think he could adequately "defend" RO from hackers. JG was the only Admin (i.e. authority and SW chops).

    The quality and vulnerability of vBulletin is way out of my wheelhouse. I do know, from having seen notifications of updates available and not installed, that RO's forum SW was not up to date. Even my analog brain can figure out that security updates not being installed equals vulnerabilities. Weird stuff had been happening for a year and a half or two - "members" showing up on the members list who had not been vetted and approved by FC. None of them ever posted, but in the course of several purges I banned hundreds of them. We had let JG know, but he was logging on 1-3 times a year the last couple of years. Absentee owner might have worked OK 10 years ago, if updates were done as released, but it's irresponsible nowadays.
    I agree that he should have kept updating the software to greatly improve its security,but unless I could see what upgrades there were,not sure of the level of security vulnerabilities.

    There are a few ways to make the admin section in the software almost impossible to find,where Hackers love to attack. Changing the name ADMIN to something else make it very hard to find from the outside, can make the CONFIG file unwritable. I suspect that all those bogus members was a sign that the forum was long ago penetrated by a hacker,who then played a slow game at first then accelerated his effort to steal the e-mails and such.

    Why doesn't he sell the forum to someone else?
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  2. #22  
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    If I had that forum,probably change the forum software,because it cost too much for the known software problems it has.The old vBULLETIN 3.0 series was more reliable in its day than the 4.0 series, that got a lot of people upset. Would have considered a few FREE software that are good and reliable. The 5.0 series has too many complaints to be excited about it,not worth the expense for a forum. I do realize that blogging is important to RO,which would have to be maintained to satisfy members.

    phpBB3 is good for large forums and boast a large scalability in the Admin board. But a chore to upgrade and has too many buttons to press,just to create a Moderator and especially site administrator. Takes a lot of administrative work to set up or make changes to the board.

    myBB is very easy to use and administrate. The Moderation set up is very nice,quick to clean up the board of spammers at a single click,can quickly stop a problem member right in the thread. The 1.8 series handles larger traffic better and the coming 2.0 version is supposed to handle the large traffic at the level that phpBB3 already can.

    SMF is also nice to use, with a huge list of plug ins to use,easy to upload them too.

    Paid software choices would be Woltlab and IP board. Would consider Xenforo (developed by former vBULLETIN developers)

    I think John needs to sell or give away the forum,as it is too big and successful to let it die.
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  3. #23  
    Senior Member SVPete's Avatar
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    At this point I'm approaching RO warily. I posted a Mods forum thread that basically starts with, "Who are you?" and is pretty blunt. I know at least one person offered to buy RO, but last I heard JG had not responded.
    I support UNexit: Get the US out of the UN; Get the UN out of the US!

    BIG CHEETO Is Watching You!

    Note to "Warpy": I voted for Donald Trump! I would do so again!
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  4. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVPete View Post
    At this point I'm approaching RO warily. I posted a Mods forum thread that basically starts with, "Who are you?" and is pretty blunt. I know at least one person offered to buy RO, but last I heard JG had not responded.
    Understandable.

    John might have to give it away to free himself of his disinterest in the forum,otherwise he keeps paying for that expensive software.

    Maybe if several trusted forum members band together,convince John to sell or give it to them free,which will also mean he is free of the software expense too?

    Then with a revamped moderation board, can bring it back to life,I would be glad to help moderate there.

    John needs to decide soon or the members will give up the wait for its revival and vanish,this killing it. He would then still be stuck with a software license nobody will want.
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  5. #25  
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    I have seen a good sized forum run with several members,having specific roles in a joint ownership.

    Elect one of the owners to be the Board Administrator,who help set policies and provide general direction. Have another Administrator do the site upgrades and answer forum problems members talk about. Then set up the SITE Administrator to run the Moderation team.

    That means at least three owners working together spreading the cost of the site to several people.
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  6. #26  
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    As a former Forum owner and the Sr Mod on a MAJOR US Forum and having been on forums aka Bulletin Boards since the 70's ( YES I have been on the internet that long (ARPANET). I have seen the best and maybe even the worst of forums.

    Here is how I did things:

    1) I always stated in all but the rarest of cases there would be no bans. Banning is a waste of time more often than not. Almost ALL bans are nothing but subjective...like the time I left a forum and sent in a request that my account be deleted or closed as I was leaving. The response from the mods should have got them banned and its hate, cruse word filled diatribes were unexcusable and then I got banned by one of them for asking to leave...go figure!

    2) If they are worth banning, CLOSE (DELETE) the account and block the IP.

    3) Learn to filter out those whose SOLE purpose on being on the forum is to agitate and initiate arguments...RO has had several and I don't think I need to mention screen names.

    4) Let the thread starter share in the policing of the thread. Sure ALL threads and conversations drift, that is normal...take note of that in your own dinner table talk. But do watch for sub-conversations among a few (typically 2 or 3 folks) that are MEANT to derail the original thread. I don't some drift in the thread as long as its within the sphere and the thread has gone on for several pages, leave it the thread starter to ask if it can return to topic and the mods may want to PM and ask the OP if the thread should be closed.

    5) If someone really, really wants to be a mod bad, do you really want him or her as a mod. Every time I have been a mod I have been asked by PM if I would, generally I turn it down, unless the request is asking for me to clean up this mess.

    6) Don't over mod...sure the speed limit is 55 mph, but only a flaming butthole is going to give a ticket fort 56 mph in a 55 zone.

    7) Look at the context of the comment in question, said in anger or intended as a personal insult or meant to be humor or as sometimes a negative between 2 friends which is in fact a positive.

    Finally I will never forget wha my Sheriff told me when I went to work for him as a Deputy Sheriff: You are here to enforce the INTENT of the law, NOT the letter of the law (see my comment #6 above).

    RO became my fav political forum and it did so because we had great and often in-depth discussions with both sides listening and making a contribution. The mods did a good job and there was an overall feeling of mutual respect by all. I learned a lot and changed my outlook on several things and I look forward to the future here.

    PS: Keeping vB up to date is all important. I say lets pass the hat and find out what it takes to make the big upgrade to the latest version of vB 4.2.6 IIRC or the big jump to vB 5.x
    Don
    Major US Army Infantry (RET)
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    Conservative, Constitutionalist, Capitalist, Christian. I speak: John Wayne, Johnny Cash and John Deere...
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  7. #27  
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    Ole Cowboy,

    Thank you for sharing your personal experience and observations.

    My replies to each of your numbered statements, are just my own personal viewpoint,not saying what you wrote are wrong or not

    1. Would post a time out warning from posting,to help cool things down which are often what solves the problem.People can have a meltdown due to things that are from outside the forum,that shouldn't show up on the forum.

    2. Would ban, when it is clear the person who had gone through the time out periods,continues to be a detriment to the forum.

    3. Trolling and Spammers,should be addressed quickly,to prevent derailing the forums intent for reasonably civil debate. Word filters helps cut down the liability concerns of a forum.

    4. SMF allows Thread Moderation,can be confined to a single thread, for anyone who started a thread. This forum could do similar.

    5. I think the Administrator should start this topic in the Moderator forum, to discuss candidates for adding a new Moderator. This allows for full input among the Moderation team.

    6. It should depend on the Board rules and the position of the Owner/Administrator view on how Moderation should be done. Be strict or be elastic,depending on the comments.

    7. Yes,some times people can be misunderstood or lose their cool in the moment of argument. A time out might be needed to just to stop the rapid replies due to emotional feelings of the time. Could be a 30 min time out is all that is need to stop the breaking down of the thread.

    Agreed that RO Mods were good there. Only one time I thought someone getting banned might have been wrong,but that was from my limited view as a regular member of the forum. The person sent me a message about it just before he was banned, saying he thought he wasn't deserving of the impending action,invited me to look at his comments in the forum. It seems to me he was not deserving it,but as I state before,that I don't have the whole story to know for sure.
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  8. #28  
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    Good comments and a perfect adjunct to my thoughts.

    The major forum that I was the chief mod on was a HIGHLY volatile forum, we have over 15,000 active users, all discussing a single subject more volatile than even politics and he could become a dog fight with far more than personal insults, we are talking death threats. It was my job to 'clean up the mess' and a MESS it was.
    Don
    Major US Army Infantry (RET)
    Hill Country of Texas

    Conservative, Constitutionalist, Capitalist, Christian. I speak: John Wayne, Johnny Cash and John Deere...
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  9. #29  
    eeeevil Sith Admin SarasotaRepub's Avatar
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    This has turned into a great thread everyone, thanks for the
    input!!

    I believe we have a stable version of vB at present. I have heard
    nothing but BAD about 5.x and have no intention of going there.
    May the FORCE be with you!
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  10. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SVPete View Post
    At this point I'm approaching RO warily. I posted a Mods forum thread that basically starts with, "Who are you?" and is pretty blunt. I know at least one person offered to buy RO, but last I heard JG had not responded.

    The Forum is up now,but has the appearance of being in Limbo,unless JG will mass email a lot of members,but even then if JG continues to be nearly comatose as the owner,the forum will die.
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