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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 07:55 am:   

I tried to post this on the General thread, but wasn't allowed to post on the topic for some reason.

Anyway, I've learned we can set a message board on our own without problems, spam-free, for a few hundred bucks. So if NS decides to tank, no problem....
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 11:22 am:   

A few hundred?!?! I can set up a message board for you for $9. Spam-free, no advertisments and very, very customizable.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 11:42 am:   

Really? I thought one had to buy software. Well, that's even better. Thanks, Mary. If NS goes through with their mutter promise, we'll definitely be in touch. Could we retain the various threads, etc.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 11:53 am:   

It really depends on the software. There is free message board software you can use. The cost would basically only be for Web hosting. I'd be able to provide hosting, provided it's not for too many message boards (i.e. providing it for the entire Nightshade forums would be out, but a few authors is something I could do).

Retaining threads would be more difficult. The old messages could be converted into a format for the new board, but it would be time consuming. It may be better to just save them as HTML and keep them as an archive that can't be posted to.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 11:54 am:   

There are several different open source forums out there. The one that I use is called phpBB and it's totally free.

We might be able to retain the threads from here, but it would involve accessing the database that runs Nightshade's board.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions. It's mary AT maryrobinettekowal DOT com
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 11:55 am:   

Whoops! I put the wrong address in for phpBB

http://www.phpbb.com/
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 01:20 pm:   

Thanks, Mary and Robert. I'm off to Nicaragua on Saturday, so I'll deal with this, if necessary, when I return in a couple of weeks.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 04:00 pm:   

Any board that doesn't require registration will have spam, I'm afraid. I've been running three forums on phpBB for several years and haven't had a spam attack on any of them. I did get hacked once, but that was my fault for not keeping the software upgraded. Besides that, they've been easy to maintain.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 04:11 pm:   

that sounds good. i'm not at all bothered by having to register for a board--these days i just think it's the natural thing, so you don't get the spam.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 04:12 pm:   

Oh....okay. Understood.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 07:34 pm:   

Thanks for the info, Lucius (I missed this thread until now). I'm hoping Nightshade doesn't go the cheap route--I'd rather not have to relocate.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 07:39 pm:   

Yup. Me, too.
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Mary Robinette Kowal
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 02:22 am:   

Cheap doesn't necessarily mean bad. For instance, I think the platform I use is more user friendly than this and it's free. It's much too soon to worry.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 05:31 am:   

There a lot of free message board formats. You can find links here:
http://www.thinkofit.com/webconf/forumsoft.htm

phpBB is widely used, but my favorite is a modified version of wwwBoard. It's the format on the other message board I frequent:
http://pmx2.krose.org/

I like it because it gives an easy view of new messages without having to view the entire thread. Plus, I can skip messages based on who posted them.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 05:51 am:   

Thanks, Mary and Robert. I know cheap's not necessarily bad and it's too early to worry, but I'm always worried and NS makes me nervous. :-)
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Huw
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 05:52 am:   

The message board I'm an administrator on (the Ring Forum, part of Ringworld, dedicated to the Ring films and books) is on phpBB, and we do get spam from time to time; it seems there's always some enterprising individual out there using bots to automatically bombard the group with crap. It can be annoying, but it's not a huge problem (in our case, at least), and can be managed, if not entirely prevented, fairly easily.

One type of forum to avoid at all costs is Ezboard. We used them for maybe 2-3 years, and ended up losing a lot of threads (some going back years, with loads of good info in them) simply because Ezboard were hacked and had been too lazy to back up their clients' board content, at all.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 05:56 am:   

Yeah, I was on a boxing Ezboard that got hacked, They lost a ton of material...

Thanks, Huw.

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