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Joined: Mon May 17, 1999 5:11 am

Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 7:02 am

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions i the Future Of The Forums thread. It's very nice to see that a lot of you are interested in and willing to contribute to make the discussion forums on a better place. I've read all replies in great detail and it has certainly given me a lot of new ideas on how to move things forward.

I'd like to comment on the major points brought up and will for convenience include a quote of the text I am commenting on:

Ryu2 wrote:
Yes. Allow users to moderate posts. But ONE user should not automatically be able to delete posts; rather they can raise or lower the score of a given post. (This moderation score would be separate from the 'stars' rating -- although the 'stars' rating might be possibly weighted in the formula) Posts with scores lower than a certain amount are AUTOMATICALLY deleted. This makes the system fairer and more objective.

I've seen this system in action at and it seems to work relatively well. It's not a bad idea and might be something to consider implementing although I think it's better suited for a wider scope site like Slashdot than for I fully agree that ONE user alone should not be able to delete a post.

And notice how you can select the minimum score of posts you want to read. So someone who only wants to read the high-quality posts, can set their score to a high level, and not even read the 'crap' posts. So a 'minimum score' filter would be very nice to have as a user option on

I'm not too fond of the idea to keep the low quality "crap" posts at all.

Iainhol wrote:
Just to add something, I think these guys should be able to close threads and not delete them, unless they are offensive. I think closing threads is much nicer then deleting them, but has the same effects, this way we can see what was going on and understand why it was closed.

Yes, giving them the ability to close (archive) a post but not delete is a good idea.

Ryu2 wrote:
As for the fee, why not talk to some companies like airlines, or publications like Airways to help sponsor the site? I have posted this suggestion many times on this forum before, but it has apparently fallen on deaf ears! is currently relying on sponsor deals and advertising for financing. Unfortunately, the online ad market is not what it used to be and we're currently looking for other forms of income. That's another discussion though.

Flight152 wrote:
Also, agreeing with that LV-7772 said, a persons quality of post ranges VERY greatly! I've seen people in the TWFirst forums type ONE NUMBER AS A POST AND DO THIS 10 TIMES!

If the total number of posts will be included to determine whether a particular user can become a moderator or not, posts in the non-aviation forum will not count.

Ryu2 wrote:
Another suggestion I just thought about: Allow users to submit questions/answers to the forum FAQ document. There could be a board of editors that would approve submissions, and add them. It would work similar to the articles.

This is definitely something worth implementing. It's been on my mind for quite some time but I haven't been able to decide the exact layout and who should be allowed to post questions/answers to that document.

767-322ETOPS wrote:
However, instead of selecting these power users [Moderators] based on arbitrary criteria, why not create a "short list" long term, knowledgable users - and then put them to a vote from the general population?

It's a good idea but might be too much work. Not only is the programming of voting scripts and managing the voting process a problem, I'm not so sure this procedure will bring forward the people best suited for the job. I'd rather give moderator status (ability to archive posts) to everyone that reaches a certain level and remove those that cannot handle it (incorrectly archived threads can easily be "un-archived").

As far as raising revenues, a couple of suggestions: provide links to, etc for buying aviation books and when someone follows the link and buys something gets something. Also, in the aviation hobby section a lot of people are trading and selling aviation stuff, how about create a separate "auction" forum where people can do this, like eBay - and you charge them a % of each sale made.

I've tried working with Amazon and the revenue is unfortunately very small, far from the revenue needed to keep the site up and running (servers, network etc). Creating an entirely new section like an auction is a lot of work, not least writing the scripts that charges people a percentage of sales. Furthermore I'm not so sure it would generate any revenue to speak of as most people would use eBay anyway. The revenue issue is different topic that I'll get back to some other time.

Aa737 wrote:
If you do end up charging for the site make the system work so that you can view the posts for free, just it costs to respond. This way people will only post when they have something important enough that they will pay to have it said. For those that don't want to pay, they can still read the forum and learn what is happening in aviation.

If we decide to turn parts of into a subscription service (note that I said IF, it's far from a certainty) that's the way I intend for it to work. Reading is free, posting will cost.

Philb wrote:
It would be a nightmare for the administration and would probably have to be "out-shopped" to an agency which would charge a percentage. You could not sensibly run a fee on anything less than an annual basis, without massive administration and probably a minimum fee of $20 pa.

Indeed true and yet another problem making the situation more complex. It is possible to use services like PayPal but micropayments on the Internet still has a long way to go.

Tupolev154B2 wrote:
Although I find the forums to be the best ones I have ever visited, who would pay to use them if there are so many other free ones out there?

Online services are growing up. The fact is that it costs money to run a quality service. It you want to be around in the long run, you'd better charge for your services. Just like any magazine, we have ads on our pages to pay for the costs we have. Magazines aren't free, you will have to pay if you want to read it. The same thing will happen to the Internet. Yes, there's a lot of free services out there right now living on "future expectations". But when all comes around, they too will have to find some way to pay for their hardware, Internet connection, staff etc and banner ads just doesn't cut it anymore.

Think if your favorite magazine. Sure, it would have a heck of a lot more subscribers if the yearly subscription cost was 0:-. That would unfortunately mean that they would go bankrupt pretty quick. Same goes for Yes, we will loose a lot of visitors if we start charging for our services. That's however a price I'm willing to pay to keep the site up and running and I hope those of you that enjoy the site appreciate that. But again, the issue of the future of is another topic.

DesertJets wrote:
What you haven't suggested is something I have thought about. How about in the registration process requiring an email confirmation. The user will not be able to post until they have received and replied to the confirmation.

That's the way it currently works and has worked for a year or so (but I know it wasn't implemented when you registered in Feb 2000).

And perhaps have a daily posting limit for new members. Say 20 posts/day for 15 days max. That would certainly be enough to participate in the forums at almost any level.

I'm not so keen on adding a limit on the number of posts. However, for new users, it might be a good idea. Maybe limit new users to one thread-starting post a day for the first 10 posts or so.

Then there are the fishing expeditions, such as: What is the best/worst/mediocre airline/aircraft/airport/picture/food/service/stewardesses you have/haven't ever/will plan on/ not plan on in your life/parent's life/past life/future life? Perhaps individual polling areas should be introduced for these.

Perhaps. I'm not very fond of those posts either but I am not sure a "polling area" would be the best solution.

1stClassFlyer wrote:
I think having a few mods would be a good idea. But just to "close" a topic, not delete it. Also, when they close the topic, they should give a reason at the end of the topic why it is being closed, that way people know why, and who closed it. But i think only you (Johan) should be able to totally delete topics. Also, you should be able to open topics back up if you feel they shouldn't have been closed.

Yes, that's exactly how it should work.

Aloha 737-200 wrote:
And, refelcting on all that I said earlier on users "bonding". That's what non_av is for too. you can chat with a person on a personal level there, or just laugh or have fun, or do what friends do. Granted, everyone is different and you also get your radicals who like to cause problems.

Yes, I too see positive sides to the non-aviation forum and hope we will be able to keep it.

Mls515 wrote:
Your goal here, I believe, is to keep away non-serious users. I think you can acheive this by simply putting a 24-72 hour waiting period on joining the forum. Even send them an e-mail reminder when this period is up. This would make the process of obtaining a new membership a pain-in-the-ass enough to keep away most people who just want to cause troube or even create a second false userid for some spur-of-the-moment activity.

An excellent idea I intend to implement.

I think that sometimes it would better to suspend a user for a period of time rather than delete them outright, or possibly suspend or ban them from peticular forums rather than the whole site.

Yes, the problem is that there's currently no such function in the scripts that manage the discussion forums. It's something I'll have to write. While at it, I'm also intending to add an automatic email notification to users when a post of theirs is removed or archived. It can contain a copy of the post and the reason it was deleted as well as a warning if the offence was severe.

Aviatsiya wrote:
This idiot was allowed to reign havoc on the main forum for quite a number of hours before the posts were deleted. If "moderators" were not to have the same "power" as current admin, those threads would still be there for all to see on the main board.

Yes, that's a problem. Maybe we could let moderators delete posts as long as more than one (or two) request for it to be removed. They could also be given the ability to temporary suspend a user's ability to post.

Another feature that I would support fully, is that the IP address of the person posting should be available for people to see. This will stop people to some extent who are posting under multiple usernames, often to flame other users.

IP addresses are always logged although not shown to other users. It's a privacy issue and I'm not sure other users would appreciate it if their IP was displayed. As it's logged, we can always use it against troublemakers.

Personally, if it was my site, I would also get rid of the star rating for posts.

Some people claim it's a waste of bandwidth as it isn't used for anything but I think it does serve a purpose, especially for new users. If a post of theirs receives a low rating, they might refrain from posting a similar topic in the future.

We're Nuts wrote:
5 dollars a YEAR!? Why not just rob Johan as he walks down the street?

Yeah. If there were a million users, five bucks a year would pay the costs. Unfortunately there's not (yet) a million of you.

Aviatsiya wrote:
People need to start thinking of as a MASSIVE "Airways" or "Airliners World" or one of the other enthusiast magazines, and it is only fair that people should pay for that privilege.
Imagine the look on the magazine publishers face if you were to go to them and demand a FREE subscription.
Also, I do not buy any of these enthusiast magazines because they:
a) Do not have anywhere near the number of photos which are available on
b) Their news is limited
c) Their news is out-of-date by the time of publication, and the forums here on are full of a wealth of information on aspects of aviation which you just don't see in these magazines, a prime example being my passion, Russian aviation.

I like your point of view!

Ralgha wrote:
If we paid a subscription fee, would that get rid of the friggen slow banner ads? No offense, this is a great site, but it's got some of the slowest ads on the internet, and they delay the whole page

That could definitely be added as one of the "features" of a paid subscription.

Ckw wrote:
I suspect the difference is down to the relative focus of the forum. Civil is just too wide. Maybe the forums need to be re-organised into more specific groups, perhaps requiring separate reg. for each.

I'm not so sure splitting it up is a good idea. It is very important that the range of topics in the different forums doesn't interfere or people will just post where the most action is. I've tried to keep the distinction between the different forums very clear and still people tend to post photography related topics in the civil aviation discussion (As it's got "more users").

UAL Bagsmasher wrote:
Many users on this forum, particularly airline employees, do not want their true identities to be revealed. Doing so may put their job in jeopardy in the event they say something they aren't supposed to about their job and/or employer.

Yes, it will not be required to reveal your true identity to other users, that's that the username is for. However, you are required to give us your real name but as you all know, you have the option not to have it displayed to other users.

Go canada! wrote:
its sensitive data its the law..i didnt request to see your e-mail. ITS NONE OF MY BUISNESS. if you want to display your email address because of your liberila values then thats fine but dont expect me to do it as well.....

I am being liberal here and giving you the option of hiding your email address from other users. That's not a right, that's a service. If you don't like the rules and conditions you have the option not to sign up and participate in our forums.

767-322ETOPS wrote:
How about creating a "New User" forum? All the newbies can go there and post all of their questions that they don't realize were already addressed many times. When someone signs up, the FAQ can suggest that they post in the newbie forum and only "lurk" in the other forums until they're comfortable that they have the etiquette down.

Interesting though. I'll have to consider what the consequences would be.

Lindy field wrote:
Divide the Civil Aviation forum into two separate forums. The first, designed to attract more professional discussion, might be titled something like Aviation News, Facts, and History. This forum would be a place to discuss breaking news, to ask factual questions about airlines, routes, aircraft, or what have you. The idea is that it would be a forum for thoughtful analysis rather than defensive or emotional posts.
The second forum would be devoted to Love of Aviation and might contain the subjective topics about favorite liveries, airlines, aircraft, etc. This could be a place for topics like "Japan Airlines should serve Fresno!" or "Northwest would look better if they painted their tails green." It could also serve as a forum for fantasy liveries or other creative endeavors.

That's a split that might actually work despite the negative comments I wrote higher up about splitting the Civil Aviation forum. I'd appreciate comments on this idea, what are the negative sides to it?

Republic wrote:
Have 2 forums. Forum #1 for subscribers. Those who want a serious and knowledgeable discussion about aviation would be willing to pay a fee to use this site, if they knew they were receiving quaility exchange of information. I certainly would. Those who do not have a credit card or choose not to part with their money would be allowed to read only, but not post on this forum #1. This would help eliminate the non serious users.
Forum # 2 would be for all to use, and moderated as it is now. This would allow for non subscribers to still communicate and share aviation information. Naturally, there will be more topics of marginal interest to work through to find the nuggets of knowledge/opinion posted. But, this would allow those interested, but not interested enough to subscribe, to still communicate about aviation topics.

That's another interesting though I'd have to think about.

I am looking forward to reading your comments now that you know in more detail my thoughts on the issue.

With Regards,
Johan Lundgren
Working on the site from morning 'till night that's livin' alright (1997-2007)

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 7:18 am

Johan, I am in great support of ur original #3 with the newest user at the civ. aviation forum. I suggest having an automatic censor for posting.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 7:24 am


Johan, I agree with most of your points but definitely not about charging people to use the discussion forum.

The discussion forums would lose most of the the good users! Remember, as Gerardo said, the site only provides the platform to a discussion forum. To get the good users is another story. Once the good users leave, you will start getting fewer and fewer new members and after a few months, the forum will sink to NOTHING!

If you had to charge people, what about a once in a lifetime $5 registration fee? If you were to be really nice, how about exempting current members? Big grin

Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 7:32 am

Another thing about the email signup: by doing this, I would suggest having several people who could approve users who sign up so that they won't have as long a waiting period.

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 7:47 am

An emphatic NO to the first suggestion.

If I was honest with you, I'd say that I was extremely annoyed by the addition of the "star" rating system. It doesn't work, and it just isn't necessary.

Please don't delete posts because others don't think they are interesting. They will soon fall to the bottom of the page.

I don't trust any other users to judge the quality of the content of posts. Just my honest opinion.

As for the other suggestion; fine.

Aer Lingus
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 7:51 am

Two things I'd just like to add/suggest:

1)I'm not at all in favour of this pay-per-post scheme at all. I realise that it would help with the much needed funds but it may also lower the forum hit rate or even the site hit rate for that matter, for me paying on the net is impossible. I'm just a student so have not got the luxury of owning a credit card.
With reagrd to the photography forum, If I don't pay and I have a photo opinion request, then it will be impossible for me to receive constructive criticism. I basically learnt photography from that forum and am proud to have my 73 or so pictures on the site in such a short space of time since i took the hobby up. Without these opinions I cannot improve my skills at a rapid rate and at such a convenience.

2)I think it would be worthwhile considering implementing a function whereby someone can actually delete/edit their own posts. I've often seen this work on other forums around the internet.
Sometimes I feel after posting a message that I may need to add something to it etc... Also lets say someone has pressed the submit button twice and has created a slight nuisance with the presence of the same topic one under the other, with a self deletion function ridding of nuisance meesages or messages of undesired contenet is made much easier

Food for thought,
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 7:59 am


And I must agree with Capt.Picard on the star rating system. Currently, Out of the 70 or so topics in the non aviation forum, only 8 have been star rates. It was fine at the start, when it was a novelty and everyone used it. Sadly, no one does now. It would probably work if more (and I mean many more) people used it.

I also agree with Martin's (Aer Lingus) point on an edit/delete function. It exists on most other forums/BBs I post on and it works!


Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 8:01 am

I am against pay to post. I have posted 1110 times (excluding this one) and out of those posts 99% have been to answer technical questions. If I have to pay to answer people's questions, well........good-bye.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 8:34 am


Your analogy about magazines is a good one. BUT, be careful. Raising the price is not how a magazine improves its quality; quality improvement must precede a rate hike, or in this case, an introduction of a fee.
We're Nuts
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 8:57 am

Regarding the use of member-moderators: if you want to regulated what they delete/close, you could simply make it a two-person process. One moderator finds a post that is offensive, and hits the delete button. That "delete" is logged, and if another moderator does the same thing, the post disappears. Therefore, no one user could remove a post!

Also Johan, I think you ought to start the moderator selection process now. It may take a while, and you should try to get 2 moderators from every time-zone. It would also be nice if the moderators had a way to communicate. These things take time. Smile
Dear moderators: No.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 9:48 am

Although there is room for improvement on this forum, it is honestly not that bad. With all the good/bad posts I have learned a TON about aviation.

Everybody always brings out the bad points. Today when you talked to your friend, did everything he/she say deserve a "5-star rating"? No, but you listened anyway, and although you may have disagreed with him/her on their opinions you nevertheless accepted their opinions and showed where you disagree with them. You may have also fought a little bit on the subjects...same thing here.

The point is, this forum isn't perfect, and it will never be perfect. This is the same thing as talking to 8000 strangers on the street, it is never going to be a perfect discussion.

Just for example, go over to and see how the "professionals" do their forums. I guarantee you will see more swear words there than in a gas station bathroom.

Charging Fees-
I personally think if you start charging for the forums, some kids will obviously drop out and you will lose someone who dreams about being a pilot and who has now lost his only source for information for their dream. Just go ask all the commercial pilots on here for their take on this. I guarantee all of them will be sad to kick that kid out because he couldn't pay the fee. Remember they have stood in the shoes of a 13-year old who has dreamed those dreams before, and with a little knowledge, and a source to share and grow that dream, the 13 year old kid that dreams today, will be the one in the left seat of an A380 tomorrow.

I say keep doing it they way you are doing it now, but with a little more help. Cut out the offensive/vulgar posts, but keep the "crap" ones. The "crap" posts are the ones you learn from.

Johan, you made a great site, but don't go nuts and lose sleep trying to make it perfect, since when has aviation, and the world ever been perfect before.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
We're Nuts
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 10:01 am

I think of the rating system as more of a warning light. It might not have as much use in the Non Aviation forum, but it certainly does in the Civil Aviation forum. If I see an "American Airlines 727 crashes!" post with a 1-star rating, I won't waste my time reading it or turning on the news.
Dear moderators: No.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 10:02 am

I'd like to agree with PanAm747...I don't really see anything wrong with the forums as they currently are. Sure, every once in a while there is a fight or somebody who comes in to cause trouble. But, take the front page of the forum, how many of those posts shouldn't be there? Not too many of them...

Aside from figuring out a way to make revenue (and thus keeping the site going), I see no need and no personal desire for anything in the forums to be changed at all.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 10:21 am

If you did start to charge a fee, what would you do about different currency's. There are people from all over the world here.

Say you dicided to charge $15 USD a month for use of the site and fourms.

It would cost me in Canada $22.80 a month.
and even worse some guy in Austrilla $28.60 a month.

You would lose many international user's who can not afford to pay in a foreign currency.

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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 10:38 am

I support a splitup of the Civil Aviation forum, and Non Aviaiton forum as I have previously posted. If you look at the other forums, Tech/Ops, Photgraphy, Military Aviation, Hobby, Photo Requests. they are much more free of problems than Civil Aviation. Therefore, they should remain as is.

For example:

Civil Aviation would become:

Airline Industry (orders, routes, etc)
Passenger-related issues (eg, does Airline X have PTVs, how do you think about the service)
Fantasy/What If? (Anything that's speculation, do you think airline X should fly to Y, Check out my fantasy livery, etc)

I think that covers about 90% of the stuff you see in Civil Aviation. This will also eliminate the problem of a user posting something in Civil Aviation that shouldn't be there, simply because that forum has the "most" users

Alternatively, the Civil Aviation forum should be split by geography (Asia, Australia, NA, SA, Europe, Africa, maybe)

Non-Aviation would become:

Comments/Suggestions about the Site

(I don't frequent non-aviation, so I don't know what are the major categories of posts, but definitely, there needs to be a forum ONLY for site suggestions, comments, etc)

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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 11:02 am

All I know, no matter what the cost would be, my parents, who just had their credit card stolen, won't let me buy much off the internet... let alone a website.  Sad

For selecting new volunteer monitors, you could do it the way my National Honor Society holds elections, but slightly different.

We shouldn't have democratic elections, I know unfair in one aspect, but it'd just be a popularity contest anyways.
What my NHS chapter does is before you want to vote, you have to have 25 members to sign your petition. The e-mails or usernames the candiate puts down would have to be willing to give a recommendation on demand, just to make sure the candiate doesn't just randomly put names.

Then, from these candiates petitions, Johan would make his selections.

That's all my ideas for now... too tired  Smile
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 12:20 pm

I don't think Johan is out to make $25/yr off every user of this site. Even $5~7 US should be suffice for him to keep up with necessary upgrades and costs that he incurs while running I'd take one thousand serious aviation entusiasts anyday over a group of 8000 users- most of them not even active anyways.
The point here is to address the rapid degradation of the forum quality, first- and Johan's balance sheet, second (as much as I'd like to see it the other way around). As long as there's $ involved, it will deter any jokers from signing up under multiple user names and wreaking havoc on the forum.
I understand that many prospective new users will be reluctant to pay upfront to participate in a forum they've never posted on before. Something like a trial subscription maybe the answer for those needs. This would be 7~14 days where the user has limited posting privileges.


Sat Jun 09, 2001 12:23 pm

I know you mentioned that the future of is another topic but I thought I'd ask you here since you will probably be checking here what people are saying anyway. Ok here's the question: Is in danger of going under and disapearing from the internet if a source if income is not found soon?

If that is the case I think it would be a good idea to remove some of the old, exremely low quality photos from say the first two years of the site being up. This would no doubt reduce costs since the size of the database would be reduced dramaticly.

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 12:53 pm

Back on topic now:
Instead of all the trouble with extra moderators and stuff, why not just have the site automaticly remove a post which has been recomended for deletion by five diffrent users?(provided it is possible to write such a code)
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 2:37 pm

Revenue is one issue, post quality is another. I'll address the post quality issue here.

It doesn't matter.

So a post is stupid, or juvenile, or uninformed, or repetitive, or insulting, or inflammatory, or annoying, or redundant, or boring, whatever. I ignore those, and I'm confident that most of the serious users ignore them, too.

Is anyone really losing sleep because one user tries to antagonize other users?

We don't need more moderators... we need to learn what to ignore. I'm confident in my ability to do so.

"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 2:42 pm

As has been brought up, paying to post but not to view would turn the forums into a large archive of unanswered questions.
I do not see many people forking over money just to answer other peoples' questions or have a lifely discussion. They would find other ways (IRC, Usenet, etc.. With the proliferation of high-bandwidth connections it is becoming ever more easy to set up such services even at home).

Asking payment for the entire site (with some form of free trial, maybe view 5 photos free, plus lists without photos and read a subset of the forums but not post) might drive away some users but would probably increase the overall quality of the site as a lot of those leaving will be the incessant trolls and flamers who will go back to usenet where life is free and flamewars rage all day and night  Smile
I wish I were flying
We're Nuts
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 2:52 pm

We DO need more moderators. Not to deter bad posts, but to ensure their removal within minutes.
Dear moderators: No.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 2:54 pm

We're Nuts-What do you mean by "bad" posts?
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
We're Nuts
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 2:56 pm

Sorry, that is vague Smile.

I meant flaming, irrelevant, advertising, or generally inappropriate posts.
Dear moderators: No.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 4:10 pm

I am surprised Johan, that you didn't consider my ideas. For that I am disappointed  Sad

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
Olympic A-340
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 6:33 pm

I agree with pretty much everything that has been said, EXCEPT paying for this site. It is extremely unfair for the serious aviation enthusiasts who are teenagers or just cannot give out a monthly fee. My parents would never pay for something over the internet, let alone a website (I agree with VirginLover). However, having certain members as moderators is a great idea.
Thanx Johan for listening to ALL of our ideas, rather than implementing (spelling??) changes without our input. Hip-Hip-Hooray for Johan  Smile

Olympic A-340

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 8:28 pm

Paying for this site would truely be very, very sad.
Not many people would do it anyway I think.
go canada!
Posts: 2886
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 1:33 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sat Jun 09, 2001 10:15 pm

I would pay a subscription if I knew that it was simple to do and lots of people dont have credit cards for differing reasons and it would be a shame to discriminate against them, though of course this wouldnt be the objective. I do understand you have overheads.

Secondly, with regard to privacy of data, I appericate the fact my data isnt shown to the whole world.I think that you would lose users if you were to display this data, and I cant see what purpose it would achieve, in fact I think it would increase the amount of flammings since anyone could get your email and start attacking you.

Airliners knowing is of course a different matter as it helps to regulate the site and you at least know who is who, I just cannot see how everyone knowing everyone names would stop the attacks and the poor posts.

I think a beef-up rating system is a good idea and I also think that the forumcould be spilt. What I mean by this is that topics such as whats your favorite bmi air hostess (ok this is a made up example) or whos better air india or PIA if I want to fly to New York should be in a seperate forum or should be in form of a poll.

Those topics such as the whole ansett/anz/SQ/qantas comings and going and other news topics could also be seperated.

I think we need new people to moderate posts and remove then quicker, yet I wouldnt want to see a popularity contest. I think that if you dont like a topic, then you simply dont reply to it and you give it a bad rating, that way those with poor ratings could be archived or suspened with a reason why.

I think that a small progession would be better than a radical change since your a doing a great job anyway and I think airliners is great at the moment.

Thanks for listerning to our views, fairly and objectively, if every user at airliners was as fair and objective then we wouldnt get flamings a-go-go which does happen.

I also think its a lot to do with yourself and your personality. Some people are accepting of others views, some arent, some flay new users who are learning the ropes, some dont. I think sadly at the end of the day some people will never learn and will cause trouble. Thats a shame for the rest of us and a shame for Johan who has put so much work and effort into this. I wouldnt want to see more of your time taken up though with extra layers of work when the situation is deep-routed in a persons personality

anyway thats enough from me

krgds to all

It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 3:15 am

I keep saying split up the forums but Johan ain;t listening!
Johan! Ecoute-Moi! Listen to me! Horst ich! Smogasbord!
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 4:35 am


Singapore_Air, I don't actually like the idea of spliting up the forums. It just makes everyone's life more time comsuming and complicated IMHO (especially those of us with slow connections).

What about turning the trip reports forums into an Airlines Views & Experiences forum where people can discuss the service on airlines (including trip reports), airline colour schemes, what airline has the nicest uniform etc.... Only real airline news would be discussed in the civil aviation forum.

Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
Posts: 2831
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 5:24 am

Just re-start the forums. I think if you deleted all the members in the forums, and make everyone sign up again, the people who realy want to sign up will. And if you realy wanted to protect from the flamers...i will try to explane it the best i can.

People want to join
They go to the reg. page.
They type their email. This porpouse is for a auto generator to make a 4,5,6,7,... number code that they have to type in in the regerstration sign up.
When they get the email back 2-3 days later with the 4,5,6, or 7 number code on it, they type that into the regerstration page. if the number is valad, has there email already stored into the computer so when they type in the keycode, there email is there and unchangeable.
then they go ahead with typeing in there name and so on. but the email is unchangeable.

If you understand that is great.
If you don't i will explane it again, becsue i think it is a wonderful idea.
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 8:46 am

How about scoring of moderators?

The only person who could do it would be Johan, but what would happen is that he would look at all the deleted posts for that day/week/whatever and give them points if they delete a thread that deserved it(A vs. B, spam, etc.), but if it was a thread such as "I despie comair pilots b/c of..." and someone such as Iainhol(No offense Iainhol) deleted it, then points would be taken off. Once they go below a certain # of points, then they are taken off moderator status and it is given to someone else.

And with moderator, when you make your picks, make sure to look at what the people are. Choose them from all age groups and make sure they each have different preferences in mind such as aircraft, airline, what group they work for in the biz(F/A, pilot, gate agent, etc.).
Posts: 1575
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 10:37 am

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't like typing in my password every time I want to post something. How about having a password save feature. Maybe like a cookie.
Posts: 6892
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 10:41 am

Johan, you have my support to split the Civil Aviation forum. I think it would be in the better interests of the site. Another suggestion is to combine the photo request and Aviation Photography forums, as the former does not get a lot of posts and these two forums are very similar.

Thank you for explaining the ideas for the forums in such a concise way.

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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:50 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 10:44 am

In response to the Future Of The Forums Thread I, I don't think that a monthly fee should be established. I think that bad or naughty users should be kicked off/banned for a period of times with their IP addresses logged so they can't create a new user name. Now a response to Boeing 747-400s post of "Johan Please Read!" I don't think that only users with only 1500+ posts should be able to stay. I think that instead of a post limit, there should be an idle limit. If a user is idle for over a month, then their user name should be deleted, unless a letter to Johan, saying that they will be gone on vacation, etc. There aren't too many people that have 1500+ posts. There are a lot of good people that joined in November or January that post 1 or 2 topics per day that have 300 good posts. That doesn't justify them being deleted. Now with summer, you should see more posts from younger kids.

Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 4:05 pm

A380, loggin ip addresses and making sure there is only one user per address won't work.
People behind proxies and people using DHCP (like most dialup and cable connections, corporate accounts, etc.) will not be able to get an account that way, because they:
a) all show up with the same ip (proxies do this)
or b) have different ip each time (with their previous one going to someone else).
Much the same is valid for people with multiple internet access options, like home and work accounts or backup accounts in case the main one breaks down.
It would also stop people from posting reports from an internet cafe while underway, as they would not be at their normal ip address.

I do agree that allowing only people with many posts on the forums won't work. Not only will this prevent anyone new from joining (how do I get 1500 posts without an account  Smile ), but if announced beforehand you would see a lot of people posting nonsense posts (probably using automated tools) just to get above the number, thus producing both a heavy load on the server and poluting the forums with stuff noone wants to see.

Deleting inactive accounts is not a good idea. Maybe blocking them, with an email sent to the registered address would be better. Responding to the mail will unblock the account.
There are people who sometimes go away for extended periods on very short notice, often not knowing exactly how long they will be gone. It is also a pain having to notify the entire world when you are going on a vacation (I'm sure most people here have accounts on lots of services).
I wish I were flying
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 10:26 pm


I'm rather interested in the two-tiered service idea.

I don't know how easy it would be to implement, technically, but what if you could have a system where you would have two options:

1) For free, with banner ads, you can access all the forums and pictures, but are limited to making, say, 5 or 10 posts per day. You can also upload photos, but limited to, say 5 uploads per day.

2) For a subscription fee, Unlimited access and posts, with no banner ads. As additional incentives for paid subscription, you might include an e-mail address, and for subscribed photo contributors, some kind of official-looking " Photographer(or Reporter)" card or ID, which might be helpful to get onto Airport ramps and trade day Airshows  Smile/happy/getting dizzy.

That way, folks without much money or credit cards can still use the site and the forums, but on a limited basis (at least they don't get tossed aside). You would also start a revenue stream.

I would not mind being a paying member. Being a financial guy myself, I would really like to know how you've managed to fund the hardware and the huge amount of bandwidth uses, not to mention the time, and I think it's only right that users should contribute, if they can.

What do you think?

The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Sun Jun 10, 2001 11:28 pm

I like it, but I do not think anyone will be fooled by presscards  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
I wish I were flying
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Mon Jun 11, 2001 12:13 am

True, but it would be better than what we currently have (i.e. nothing, zilch, nada). It might work.

The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
Posts: 11619
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Mon Jun 11, 2001 1:21 am

I like your second idea, but I don't want to pay for it.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:50 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Mon Jun 11, 2001 1:31 am

How about for each picture put an html code so it appears on someones web page big and not small.

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Mon Jun 11, 2001 2:24 am

I would just like to know- How much does a click on an advertisement give you?
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Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Mon Jun 11, 2001 2:54 am

I think before we jump into the water which has a shark in it. We must hold back. All these suggestions and stuff, and also, Johan has a LIFE! I think it will take a long time to sort through the posts, do "scripts", make new pages, get moderators if that's what he's gonna do and that, so I think this is going to be as slow as SIA rolling out the new Raffles Class.

I think the pay system is interesting. I think USD $10 per month for the Non-Ad system is great. I think a lot of users would like that. And anyhow, it's only USD $120 a year, so not much.

However, I wouldn't participate. My modem is fully capable of displaying these ads, and if necessary, put more on! It will keep the forums free and most have a 56K modem so there's no problem there.

Is the number of users problem really that bad? If so, I think an e-mail should be sent out to the inactive ones (40 days or more), if no reply is had within 5 days or so, then that user MUST be deleted. Although I have no use of this feature as i m very active as everyone appreciates!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


I also think the logo needs improvement and the site colours. They look very. Blue. And the Metal 747 looks dated. I dunno, Get Air Orange's thing to build you a new one!

I don't know what some people are on about though, this degrading forum quality. The majority, about 90% of the posts are very relevant and are very good. It's just the 10% , where users criticise others, make personal attacks, or make fun of other airline's misfortunes, that degrade the forum and those users should be warned in an e-mail.

I was warned by Johan once. I posted a joke. Of course he didn't think it was funny and it was deleted and I got warned. Fair's fair, I accept his decision, although I still think it was funny  Smile

Well. Consider this. I hope Johan is listening to me. It would be nice.

Anyway. I'm tired and I have homework. Goodbue!
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 1999 3:09 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Mon Jun 11, 2001 7:15 am

Posting Fees- Not good at all. If this were to happen, me and a whole bunch of the younger people would no longer be here based on the fact we don't have a credit card and our parents wouldn't feel all that comfortable paying.

"Junior Moderators"- I like that idea, but still if a post gets deleted, it should go through you at first, and the moderators should have a reason for deletion.

Identity- Personally, I don't want my identity given away and the things i don't care if givenaway are on my profile. I don't want people who I don't even "know" calling me my first name. Now if Johan wants this for registration and other reasons, that is fine.

Dividing the Civil Aviation forum- Either way, I am happy.
Deleting the non-av forum- NOOO!! Like me, I like other things other than commercial aviation and you get to see the "otherside" of people. I have found that I have commonalities with other people on the forums and sometimes members can relate to one another. If this forum goes, more than likely I go. I was here before the non-av forum, but when it was introduced, it made this site a whole lot better.
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
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Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Mon Jun 11, 2001 11:01 pm

Cfallk why on Earth would you want to limit the number of pictures a user can upload in one day. If you come back from say a very succesful trip and have about 50 good photos would you like to just have to load 5 per day?
The Ohio Player
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Mon Jun 11, 2001 11:41 pm is a service provider. The services provided are the forums and the management of the world's largest online database of aviation pictures.

We (I'm a contributing photographer as well) want to show off our pictures without having to build our own site, and where we know a great many people come to visit, and may ask to use or even buy our pictures. Almost every day I get e-mails saying stuff like "Great picture", "Can I use your pic", "How did you...", "I was the pilot on that plane you shot that day, can I have a poster?" (I've gotten that twice). I get a kick out of those messages, and I certainly wouldn't be getting that many if I had a little site of my own, being visited by (max) 10 people per day.

I have about 1200 pictures on this site. at 100-120K per picture (big and small), that is about 130 MB of hard disk space that I am taking up on his server. All in all, his server must have at least 20 gigabytes worth of pictures, plus all the programing which I believe he did mostly by himself. The result is that my pictures, along with everyone else's, are in an easily navigable database seen by thousands every day.

The forums are a nice way of relaxing and talking to people about different subjects. The forums here are nicely split up according to subject. I find it a viable alternative to going to the movies, for example - I find them just as entertaining. You are willing to spend $10 on a movie, so why not other forms of entertainment?

Just like producing a movie, creating and operating this site and managing its services takes time and money. I expect that Johan is now benefiting from bandwidth and hardware access from being a University student, but that won't last forever, and banner ads bring diddly/squat in terms of revenue. A solid revenue stream must be created - ideally from those who benefit from the services provided.

We have discussed before about membership fees, and many indicated that, for whatever reason, that they cannot or won't pay, and that their participation would disappear.

Fine, so how about making in so that, for free, you have a LIMITED use of the services. You can still upload and post, within certain limits. But if you want full access, plus maybe a few other goodies like e-mail addresses and ID cards, membership is needed.

I think that is a fair solution. After all, why should anything be free, if it costs time and money to provide? Ever since the Internet became popular, we seem to have forgotten this principle.


The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
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RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Tue Jun 12, 2001 12:28 am

Well if the bandwidth is what is costing, maybe charge
the users who want to post photos by the meg, as I
have noticed that many charge for their work to be
used, therefore this you would think is a commercial
arrangement, good for both the photographers and
the site owner.

Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2001 4:19 am

Some Comments

Tue Jun 12, 2001 6:46 am

Seems as if there are quite a lot of interesting ideas:

I think there's a lot of danger in those ideas for like it is now. I like to see the site being free to use and independant from all photographers. That's what this site is about. A free but high quality place to share aviation pictures with brand new stuff from the world's airports and a big diversity. That's the strength (plus the design, powerful and complex search interface) of making it the best site online and giving anyone who can afford making pictures the possibiliy to share them. Any kind of fee would only harm the popularity. Nobody would ever post again if reading was free and posting costs money. I wouldn't give any answers anymore. And think of those people with no access to credit cards and stuff. That would be pretty unfair. As you can see this has a lot to do with democracy or politics and there is a real freedom here which should be kept up.

I really feel sorry for the site because it seems to be so popular but has so many problems with money. That's also unfair.

A time delay when registering would definitely keep some troublemakers away.

It's just my opinion: Keep up the quality of the forums. Don't make any low-quality forums. That's not the right place here for "chatroom" forums for new users.

One more time: Why do we need a non-aviation forum here? I would reduce it to "about the site only" forum.

Probably you could make those users the moderators that have many pictures here. Sounds strange but you must admit that those people must be interested and willing to keep the site running and keep up the standards. Maybe not an excellent solution but there are some guys here that really take it serious. But it's a bit unfair for non-photographers - you also need other moderators.

Rather charge for the site (pictures) than for the forums. I would pay for the pictures but not for the forum.

That's some ideas. Not too great but let's see how you decide and how it develops.

Bring it back, bring it back, bring it back
Air NZ
Posts: 201
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2001 11:12 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Tue Jun 12, 2001 11:03 am

I am a 16 year old and i have just come to this forum. I am very interested in aviation and want to continue on in it.

As has already being said there should be some people who can grade a post and if its scores lowly is deleted. I think if it were one person they might have a different view on a subject than some other people.

Posts: 8777
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: Future Of The Forums Part II

Tue Jun 12, 2001 11:26 am

I have been involved with a number of internet communities since the early 1990s and have literally watched many of them grow from infancy into something much larger. Many of them become passing fads or lose focus of their objective, but others are able to diversify and grow upon their strengths. seems poised to do the latter.

Your demographic for the website seems to be predominantly younger users. Even though the actual registration figures may not indicate so, I'd venture to say that at least 70% of all posts are made by persons in the 13-20 age group. Whereas these persons do have valuable opinions and input sometimes, they are usually not well enough informed to contribute meaningful input to a discussion. For an example of this, go look at the threads regarding the Comair/ALPA situation. A quality debate ensued when the younger users were essentially frozen out of a conversation that encompassed issues most of them knew nothing about.

However, these younger users will grow into aviation industry employees tomorrow and you will then have an amazingly valuable resource available. It is for this reason that I think you should attempt to streamline discussion topics better, rather than to restrict access to them.

Your suggestion for a fee-based service will be the death of Mark my words on this, for I have seen it happen multiple times before. You will lose at least 50% of your existing adult user base up front, and possibly a larger proportion of your younger users. However, the impact will be even worse on new users. You will be lucky to EVER have a user sign up for this website again. Without new blood, an internet community is doomed and will fade away within the year. You need to avoid this at all costs.

A public selection of moderators will turn into nothing but a farce. Everyone has their favorites and their own opinions about other users, which will skew any democratic selection process. You are ultimately the person who will have to live with the fate of, and I think you should be the one to unilaterally appoint moderators. I would however recommend not publicly identifying them, lest they suffer the same fate as Gary did during last night's witch hunt. A few trusted users, ideally located in different time zones around the world, with the power to delete postings and temporarily suspend privileges is an ideal situation. A poster with multiple postings deleted in a short span of time is automatically suspended for review. This functionality should be already supported by your software package, or could be implemented with a minor amount of tweaking.

A selection process for new users will not work. Period. People sign up for boards like this on the spur of the moment, and any waiting period will result in a lower percentage of users actually posting after registration. However, one of the moderators could regularly scan the information provided by new registrations for accuracy and suspend privileges for those who fail to provide the appropriate information until they do so. A regular presence like this will act as a deterrent to spam. Exceptions should be made for obvious parodies, such as my dear lamented alter-ego "Uncle Leo". As long as there is no intent of deception, parody is an acceptable application of the fair use doctrine and there is no legal liability for IMHO, users like that truly contribute to the forum's consciousness and awareness and are signs of a thriving community rather than a dysfunctional one.

The non-aviation forum needs to stay. It allows posters to filter junk postings away from the serious discussion forums and to develop more of a community there. Yes, emotions will run high there but it is a small price to pay for the benefits that will outweigh the negatives by a large factor. Additional moderators will definitely enable this to be kept under control.

Please take my suggestions to heart Johan, because they are truly made with the best interests of the community in mind. I can only imagine the pride you feel when you see what your creation has developed into, but like any adolescent she will have her growing pains. If her parenting is strong however, she will come through with flying colors and do you proud.

Please feel free to count on my support and assistance anytime you may need it. It is the least I can offer to help a community that has provided me many moments of entertainment and enlightenment, as well as helped me make valuable friendships that I have continued to maintain in real life.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada

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