An Open Letter To The Trolls

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Traveller
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An Open Letter To The Trolls

Post by Traveller »

Have you given thought to moving these boards off of FreeYABB? I'm asking because you're really not doing yourselves any favors by keeping the boards here. The pop-ups have become excessive, and are a major detriment to the continued growth of the game. Most of us as you can see on the threads relating to the usage of banners have taken measures to eliminate the pop ups and the banner ads, but many people who surf the Internet simply do not know how to deal with these things or feel that they have to accept them as a consequence of surfing the Internet.

I myself am wondering how many bad cookies would have been passed along to my computer because of FreeYABB's desperate attempts to generate revenue from their free message forums. Because of FreeYABB's behavior, I cannot be sure how much longer people will tolerate their activities and flee to friendlier sites. I honestly believe that it's time for the Trolls to do the same. Guys, it's time to move the message forums off this server and to someplace where you can exercise total control over the content, including the ads that may be delivered. I am not sure about other people, but I know that I wouldn't have too many objections to viewing an ad if it was related to the company itself, or the industry in general.

Please give this some serious thought. Growing the fanbase on the Internet, while a small percentage of the fanbase in general, is vitally important simply because HERE is where you can actually talk to the guys who write the game, the guys who support it, and the guys who promote it. However, they can't see your message if they're wading through popups and annoying ads that scream in your ears until they bleed.

Traveller.
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Post by Treebore »

Agreed, find your own private forums. It can't cost that much. If ENWorld can do it the Trolls certainly can. Of course ENWorld also has over 1,000 visitors a day and several fans who have donated $1,000's each to upgrade their servers and what not, but we are probably talking only a 100 or so per day at best for us.
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Post by Sir Ironside »

My forum is dirt cheap, and I have zero pop-ups or ads, plenty of room for forum posts etc, my own domain and e-mail service. I've had zero problems of any kind.

It even doesn't cost that much for the elite customer service (Which I really don't need as I have a guy that knows much more than me.)

All the ads don't bother me, but I have yet had to experience any pop-up ads. If it did become a regular thing, it would become annoying enough that I would limit my time here.
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Post by serleran »

I still see no ads. And, that is with Chrome... of course, I did find a plugin called NotScript (obvious play on FireFox's NoScript) which blacklists virtually everything by default.

However, the majority of peoples use Internet Explorer and most don't know how to navigate its options. Besides, if the Trolls owned their forums, they could "anything" to them.
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Post by Omote »

The ads/pop-ups do suck ass. On my home machine, I could care less as this stuff is blocked for the most part. On my work machine where I spend most of my time I can't have any cool internet applications so this crap comes through to the logs. In which case my IT dept. wonders why am I doing so much: Shopping, Gambling, Pornography (that's how our system classifies these shitastic banner ads and logs them).

Overall, as long as the data is not lost in some way, I guess it doesn't matter that much to me personally, but if FreeYABB get's worse (which it constantly seems like it is...).

~O
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Post by Relaxo »

I also frequent http://www.budoseek.net/vbulletin/index.php which is run on vbulletin and I've never had anything but positive experiences with it, for what it's worth.
http://www.vbulletin.com/

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Post by mgtremaine »

For what it is worth the total users and traffic to these boards is really not that much. The community here is smaller then say the SGI Community at Nekochan, and I know for a fact that the phpBB system there is run on an Intel Atom board over a DSL line [were are talking dual 1.6ghz with 4GB of ram, I use the same rig as my own server]. So as far as processing power and bandwidth requirements it is minimal. Sysadmin and moderators is perhaps the bigger issue.

So it would be easy move away from freeyabb and self host should anyone have the motivation.

-Mike

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Post by cleaverthepit »

hmm interesting comments. we shall form a committee.

we moved from some other forum thingy to this forum thingy several years ago (5 i think). in the process of the move we lost 90% of the threads. We can move off of these and onto another one, but it will take some time for us to do it as we a knee deep in poo busy right now.

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Post by dutch206 »

Um, what ads? IE 8 comes with a built-in popup blocker. You don't even have to configure it.
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Post by Traveller »

cleaverthepit wrote:
hmm interesting comments. we shall form a committee.

we moved from some other forum thingy to this forum thingy several years ago (5 i think). in the process of the move we lost 90% of the threads. We can move off of these and onto another one, but it will take some time for us to do it as we a knee deep in poo busy right now.

FreeYABB has an option in its control panel to backup the message database. You should be able to build a FreeYABB forum on trolllord.com that is identical to the current forum structure here. Once you do that you then drop the backup of the message database into the proper location on the trolllord.com server, and voil, the entire message board is recreated with messages intact.

I'm oversimplifying this just a bit, but having worked on building FreeYABB forums for various HTML Chat Role Playing rooms, that's the gist of how it works.

This is the most cost effective solution, but not the most time effective. The other way to go is to transition this board from free to paid, and thus get rid of all of the crap. Which way to go?

Personally, I'm not a fan of paying to dump the ads because it's unnecessary. You have server space via trolllord.com, and I'm reasonably certain your server package through your domain registrar supports message forums on trolllord.com. You have a site admin for trolllord.com who is competent in this area, if trolllord.com itself is any indicator. Put the forums on trolllord.com, give the addy as trolllord.com/forums/ and call it a day.

For aesthetics however, make the board look like it's part of the site by using the same color scheme and perhaps the background graphics.
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Post by Traveller »

dutch206 wrote:
Um, what ads? IE 8 comes with a built-in popup blocker. You don't even have to configure it.

Dutch, some 15% of the Windows population are still using IE6 or 7 (source: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp ). There simply are people out there reluctant to change. My roommate's Mom is one of them. She absolutely refuses to upgrade to IE8 despite the obvious advantages it has over IE6.

It's because of her computer that I don't allow the other half dozen computers in the house access to mine. She is a vector for system-wide infection, and I just won't have that.
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Post by cheeplives »

I agree, you should just go download the latest version of phpBB and unpack it into a www.trolllord.com/forum folder. Then back up the databases from here and re-load them into the forum folder. Done! FreeYabb just uses phpBB, so there'd be no change in how the forum operates.

phpBB is free to use and all it takes is having enough bandwidth on the trolllord doman.
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Post by huds0n »

Firefox + AdBlockPlus = No Ads or popups!

Problem solved
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Post by CKDad »

cleaverthepit wrote:
...but it will take some time for us to do it as we a knee deep in poo busy right now.

I think this is the biggest bottleneck right now, folks. There's only some many trolls and the projects they're tackling right now are big.

If the choice on where to spend the hours is between the CKG and moving the web forum, my hope is that they'll keep pouring the effort on to complete the CKG.

That said, it would be nice to get the forums off of FreeYabb.
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Post by Traveller »

huds0n wrote:
Firefox + AdBlockPlus = No Ads or popups!

Problem solved

+1 on missing the point.
Sorry, I don't mean to single you out, but everybody who mentions in this thread "I use x and don't get pop-ups" either didn't read the part where I mentioned that many of us have taken care of this by using software, or simply didn't give a damn and wanted to threadcrap.

I don't know which it is, but what I DO know is that this thread isn't about fighting off FreeYABB's stupidity. It's about asking the Trolls, when they have the time to do so, to get these forums off this site and onto theirs. It's better for us, and it will be better for them.
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Post by mgtremaine »

huds0n wrote:
Firefox + AdBlockPlus = No Ads or popups!

Problem solved

Not be overly critical but this actually doesn't really help the problem. Basically the more adblockers and what not that get used the lower the ROI for the advertisers which just makes them go back to the drawing board and come up with newer and more intrusive technology. Run your memory back through the slow march of these things, remember the first pop under, now we sound and flash and URL spawning and all kinds of crazy crap all in the name of "better ad campaigns". Pity the poor users who for whatever reason can not block this stuff and just has to suffer through it.

The best solution is to self host since it gives you the kind of control you need. Plus you could tie in Crusader purchased ads with forum ads to give the advertisers a little something extra. I don't think anyone would object to that those types of ads.

Sadly it will require work that is better spent somewhere else but at least have the Trolls consider the situation and perhaps if in the future there is some breathing space something can be done. [Hell I bet there are a fair amount TrollLord Games devote that would happily handle the migrations for store credit , I would. ]

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Post by Troll Lord »

Brian and I have discussed this from time to time. We attempted to do it as well but the mish mash of mess that came over from Freeabby was a big mess. I can't remember what went wrong, or didn't work, but I eventually told brian to stop working on it as there were other things to concentrate on.

First up for us is to get www.chenaultandgray.com back up and running. Once that is done we'll have a gander at these boards and see what is up.

Thanks!

Steve

and these pop up are annoying as heck!
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Post by huds0n »

Traveller wrote:
+1 on missing the point.

Nope, i got the point. But the reality is, while the current forum solution might not be the best, it works. And honestly we have more important things focus on as a company. Granted popups and ads are always annoying, but i would bet that the majority of the people who come to our boards are fairly computer literate and have to the ability to block these annoyances locally.
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Post by Traveller »

huds0n wrote:
Nope, i got the point. But the reality is, while the current forum solution might not be the best, it works. And honestly we have more important things focus on as a company. Granted popups and ads are always annoying, but i would bet that the majority of the people who come to our boards are fairly computer literate and have to the ability to block these annoyances locally.

Again, you are missing the point. It's not about us. It's about that casual user who may have discovered the forums for the first time. It's also about the image that I believe the company wants to present. We don't see it because we're using pop-up blockers, but to that casual user who comes across the forums for the first time, what do you think his second impression - the first being the game - of the company will be?

Speaking only for myself, if I didn't have a HOSTS file and pop-up blockers on my computer and I saw the ads, I'd leave and not return. How many people do you think have come to this site, got disgusted by an annoying ad that screamed in your ears that "you won", and left never to return? Think about it. That's a lost opportunity and a guy that will tell ten of his friends about the horrible website the Trolls have, even though the rest of the site is as clean as a whistle. All because he hit that Forums link at the top of trolllord.com and got hit with a bunch of badvertising.
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Post by Sir Ironside »

Traveller wrote:
Speaking only for myself, if I didn't have a HOSTS file and pop-up blockers on my computer and I saw the ads, I'd leave and not return.

This is pretty much me to. I've gone to sites that I am truly interested in, then BAM a pop-up. I don't even try to negotiate it, it instantly irritates me and I don't bother to go in and look around. There are just sooooo many internet sites to visit and so little time I have zero interest in the in_your_face advertising.

Funny, I've never added any apps to Chrome and I have never had this problem here. I guess I am just lucky.
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Post by Dagger »

I've got to agree with Traveller on this. It's a brand and image issue. The aggressive ads make the company look cheap. Perception is reality. You expect to see ads like that on a fan site run by amateurs.
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Post by hedgeknight »

Troll Lord wrote:
Brian and I have discussed this from time to time. We attempted to do it as well but the mish mash of mess that came over from Freeabby was a big mess. I can't remember what went wrong, or didn't work, but I eventually told brian to stop working on it as there were other things to concentrate on.

First up for us is to get www.chenaultandgray.com back up and running. Once that is done we'll have a gander at these boards and see what is up.

Thanks!

Steve

and these pop up are annoying as heck!

Sounds good! Looking forward to it...
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Post by nightstorm »

I havent had any pop ups, but I find the ads on the bottom funny, esp under the no politics rant there was an ad for Meg Whitman. Do as I say, not as I do.
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Post by serleran »

Yes, made all the funnier by the fact that the Trolls have no control over what ads are pushed onto them by the actual forum hosts...
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Post by Breakdaddy »

nightstorm wrote:
I havent had any pop ups, but I find the ads on the bottom funny, esp under the no politics rant there was an ad for Meg Whitman. Do as I say, not as I do.

We have no control over the ads contained on these forums. If we did, this topic would not have had to have been brought up. General smartassery is not helping the issue. As has been stated, this is a point that we are hoping to address in the future.
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Post by MithrilKnight »

Good to hear changes are in the works.

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