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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT
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HighlandNick
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 635
Location: Highlands, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT Reply with quote

The GeoX Forum has reached a crisis point. The functionality of the site has started to suffer and unfortunately, I as the only remaining Admin, have not been able to fix these issues.

I have been contacted by a potential new forum member who has had problems with his registration. Both Big Wolf (Angus) and myself (Nick) have been investigating.

It appears that new Registration is not possible and also that no current members have access to their own Profiles. I would really like to get these issues sorted, but cannot do so.

The hosting company, phpbb, only recognises one Forum Admin, and this person is not me!
Only one Forum Admin can report issues and hold the passwords to do so. You may remember that the GeoX forum was set up byWildlifewriter (Paul McMichael). Paul has been ill and his sight has failed. He has ceased Geocaching and despite my emails to him, and also those of others in N. Ireland, he has remained uncontactable. Paul last visited both this forum and last cached last year. He holds the access info.

Attempts by me to contact phpbb have failed, and indeed when I have accessed some of their webpages (as indicated by Google), my antivirus system has prevented me due to alleged Trojan activity on some pages. This is disturbing to me personally.

It has also become apparent that fewer "current" cachers are using the forum. I suggest we are down to half a dozen "active" members.

I therefore intend to carry out no further maintenance to the site from today. This announcement should also serve to inform potential new registrants that there is nothing I can do unfortunately. (if they read this far)

I have also noticed that other smaller caching groups have started up that are using Facebook and Twitter as their preferred mode of communication (Moray Geocachers for example).

Whilst it is possible for existing members to continue posting and for others to read these posts, that is about it. No new members will be able to join or post.

All the best,
Nick
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cooltshirt
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Joined: 03 Jan 2009
Posts: 71
Location: Auld Reekie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hah! .......... I've just commented elsewhere on the profile thing and as part of that I noticed that the easyphpbb support forums are increasingly full of unanswered requests for help.
I agree that this forum has very little activity beyond a small core group, although I suspect rather more do keep an eye on it for a heads up about events and so on.
I would be happy to migrate to a Facebook group, but I do appreciate that wouldn't suit everybody.

There is an argument that goes:

'geocaching is now so established that local forums are not as necessary as they were in the fledgling days of the hobby'

or:

'geocaching is now so widespread and intensive in some areas that using some form of social media to voluntarily coordinate local activities is helpful'

??
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HighlandNick
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 635
Location: Highlands, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is just one of the issues I remarked upon and has also been referred to in another couple of posts lower down the Forum.
I too searched the forums for info and saw the non replies to similar problems - some going back a number of months.
It's possible that phpbb have a greater problem - especially when I get the Trojan issue with a number of their webpages.
Have they been hacked?
Have their Admin all left?
Been arrested for being members of Lulzsec?
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Big Wolf
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 577
Location: Carnbroe, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clearly its now time to decide what to do with our broken GeoX forum and rather than see it suffer a death of a thousand cuts I think it is probably best to call it a day and shut it down gracefully. (sorry Nick you may need to help here!)

It does appear that the underlying issues are not going to be fixed any time soon and this, coupled to the fact that the number of posts have steadily fallen to a trickle over the last year or so, makes me think that its not really viable to move camp and set up GeoX_II.

I agree with Nick that Social Media tools have become the prodominate means of communication for 'interest groups' and there are already a number of Scottish geoaching groups on Facebook. I think the largest is a closed group called 'Geocaching in Scotland' with currently 113 members.

Equally if we want to set up a GeoX group on facebook then thats straight forward to do as well and it could be either an open or closed group.

So :
1) do we limp on when the service is only going to get worse or close it down gracefully?
2) just use the other existing forums ?
3) set up a GeoX forum on Facebook ?
4) all just use the existing 'Geocaching in Scotland' group.?
5) something else

Your thoughts please.

(for whats its worth I favour decanting to the the 'Geocaching in Scotland' group on facebook)
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Flyfishermanbob
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Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 78
Location: Ayrshire

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll have to allow me some leeway to offer an opinion .... I'm a regular "looker " but infrequent "contributor"..... Embarassed

Agreed , Facebook has taken most of the site traffic from the 3 Scottish forums GeoX ;Geofrees and Ayrshire caching ....., however social media such as Facebook ,might well suffice for day to day bleathering , but its shortfall is that it is transient .... threads disappear into the ether ...

The strength of forums is surely in their traceability , and the ability to set important topics as "sticky" for all to see in the future ???
Just my 2d worth .
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Flyfishermanbob
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Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 78
Location: Ayrshire

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duplicated
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Last edited by Flyfishermanbob on Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Flyfishermanbob
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Joined: 22 Sep 2005
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Location: Ayrshire

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duplicated
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Original A1
Member


Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 81
Location: Auld Reekie

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very sad, if the speculations prove to be correct.

I had pondered about putting a post on here to query whether there was some intra forum on the site that I didn't know about as there's so little apparent activity, and yet it seems that there's quite a regular "footfall", going by the details at the bottom of the page.

Alas, I don't use Facebook, nor do I intend to start, so I guess it's Geofrees or the official GC.com forum for any caching chat for now. Shame, as I view this as a kind of "thinking cacher's site"!



Sad
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Haggis Hunter
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Joined: 29 Aug 2005
Posts: 2487
Location: The building site formally known as Edinburgh!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although it doesn't come as a surprise I am saddened to hear confirmation of Paul's ill health.
Paul's innovation of setting up a forum that is moderated by all of the members was truly inspirational. It worked, this was a forum that you knew you could come onto without worrying about angst, bitterness or backstabbing that did and probably still does happen on other forums.
Paul should be applauded for his efforts and I certainly thank him for what he set up. I just hope your health improves Paul.

Given the current situation and low traffic on the forum, I can't help thinking that it is the end of the line. But FFB has a very good and valid point, what happens to all the past informative, funny and just good to read topics? I would hate to see them disappear, as I have found myself doing a search for an old topic that I remember about, just to answer a question for myself.

Facebook has taken over, but it most certainly isn't the same as a forum.

So what to do? Well it is evident that this host site is dying and there appears to be nothing we can do about it. We could let it run it's course and allow it to slip away. However, forums are there for newbies as well and it would be a shame not to have that sort of input into the pastime.

Is it possible for a new forum to be started with the relevant topics explaining how it is ran and moderated being copied over, and then a link back to this forum, so that it can be viewed as an archive. Presuming of course that this host doesn't collapse completely?
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stufio
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Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 47
Location: Roslin, Midlothian

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flyfishermanbob wrote:
You'll have to allow me some leeway to offer an opinion .... I'm a regular "looker " but infrequent "contributor"..... Embarassed

Agreed , Facebook has taken most of the site traffic from the 3 Scottish forums GeoX ;Geofrees and Ayrshire caching ....., however social media such as Facebook ,might well suffice for day to day bleathering , but its shortfall is that it is transient .... threads disappear into the ether ...

The strength of forums is surely in their traceability , and the ability to set important topics as "sticky" for all to see in the future ???
Just my 2d worth .


I too am a 'looker' but have found and used lots of helpful advice and information.

It would be a real pity that this was to vanish into the ether - I am not a facebook user and have no intention of starting - partly due its misuse by some.
I would like to see something continue where questions can be posed and stored for future use - where else can we go to pick the brains of those in the know??
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Big Wolf
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 577
Location: Carnbroe, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haggis Hunter wrote:
Is it possible for a new forum to be started with the relevant topics explaining how it is ran and moderated being copied over, and then a link back to this forum, so that it can be viewed as an archive. Presuming of course that this host doesn't collapse completely?


At present only 4-5 people look at the site per day with only 1 or 2 posts a week. Just cast you eye down the home page and note the last posted date on all of the different sections. One section has not been used since 2007 and 30% of them were last used in 2010 or before.

Its not that the members are not active as I regularly see members of this site posting on facebook but they don't post here anymore. Yes, its good to be able to ask questions on the forum but clearly most people are using FB in preference.

A new forum could be started but the current level of usage would not realy warrent it especially when there are other forums available i.e. gc.com, geofrees, the ayrshire forum and of course the GAGB.

Also, going by other forums I've set up in the past, its very likely that GeoX will automatically close if there are no posts on it after a predetermined period of time. (the period is set by the operator i.e. easphpbb) so its likely going to disappear at somepoint anyway given that we cant add new members and the existing ones are using it less and less.
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Haggis Hunter
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Location: The building site formally known as Edinburgh!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose I'll just have to adapt to not having a Scottish forum that I am comfortable of being a part off. Crying or Very sad

Seriously, it would appear that you are correct. I suppose our own lack of use has killed the need for the forum. Sad Sad

I suggest it gets left as it is, and when it dies it dies. People can decide for themselves as and when they wish to move on.
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englishpete
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Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 130
Location: Fife

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad This is sad!. As an outcast who now lives in York I fear I will loose the ability to contact other geocaching friends who I have met at various geocaching events around Scotland, all were good intresting people who put time and effort into geocaching and making it good for people like me. Good luck to you all and I hope to meet again. Crying or Very sad
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Firth of Forth
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Joined: 29 Aug 2005
Posts: 1493
Location: East Lothian, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like others above, I have no intention of joining or using Facebook (ever!) so this is not a replacement option as far as I am concerned. The same applies to my husband Jack Aubrey, I'm afraid.

We are guilty for not having used the forum much lately, though have been pretty regular contributors in the past.

There may or may not be a need for an alternative to the social networking sites.....
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ayr_lad
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Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 13
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I've been more of a lurker than an active contributor recently, but do look intermittently at the site. There will always be a core of people who regularly contribute and those that dip in and out infrequently.

It would be a shame to lose this virtual community. I personally dont attend any events, so dont really know that many geocachers, but have used this for advice and answered some questions myself in the past. It would be a shame to lose a virtual community.

If there are any Facebook Communities can they be posted here so that we can join? There is always Twitter and the use of hashtags. i.e. if you add a #geoxforum hashtag into you tweet anyone can search on it and get the relevant tweets.

If there is a desire to keep the forum, this is worth a look - http://www.freeforums.org/about.php

If there is a desire to keep a community, I'd be happy to help setting things up as I'm a techie at heart!

Cheers
David
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