Disadvantages of having an own forum hosted on your site?

Mon Dec 20, 2004 11:51 pm

I have read a lot about advantages and disadvantages of having a forum hosted on your site.

The only disadvantage that scares me is this: it is recommended that you contact a lawyer to protect yourself against people who use your forum for illegal activities and/or hate.

The question I have: is it the responsability of the site administrator if something illegal is happening on his/her forum? I think it is nearly impossible to read every word that is said on the forum.

Another question: you can outsource the control of your forum by using moderators. Does this give problems (for example: are they doing their job, what do they want back in return ?)?

A question to Allan: you have chosen phpbb.com for your forum software. I assume this was the best package you have found. What are the advantages/disadvantages?
Learner
 
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Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:28 am

I disagree that you can't read every post on your forum ... I read every post on two popular forums and scan posts on several others ... if you want a forum you have to make the committment to keep it above board and productive ... if you don't want to do it, hire someone who will ... otherwise it slides into junk and becomes a forum noone will visit/post (at least noone who would make it a productive forum).

Debs
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Re: Disadvantages of having an own forum hosted on your site

Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:47 am

If you do a search on this forum you should be able to find a fairly comprehensive discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of having your own forum.

Learner wrote:...you can outsource the control of your forum by using moderators. Does this give problems (for example: are they doing their job, what do they want back in return ?)?

I hire a part-time moderator and pay him an hourly rate. You can also use volunteers and "pay" them by giving them free publicity on the forum. I imagine it would be very difficult to find someone as dedicated as Wally. He's usually here 7 days a week, and if spammers are active he checks the board several times a day.

For a really busy forum, you might want three moderators, living in different parts of the world and splitting the 24 hours into three 8-hour blocks.

I've been really fortunate. Some truly wonderful people keep turning up and answering questions and helping people here. I hope you're as lucky as I've been.

A question to Allan: you have chosen phpbb.com for your forum software. I assume this was the best package you have found. What are the advantages/disadvantages?

I'm no expert on forum software. Since 1998, I've used only three systems. You can probably find more experienced people to ask.

We originally started with very simple software set up by my web host. A hacker got in and froze it, with links to "adult" stuff displayed.

We switched to Discus software, which was OK but fairly limited.

When I decided to upgrade, I hired a programmer to investigate the various options and phpbb was his choice. He found it fairly easy to install. I find it easy to use.

From a moderator's point of view, I have no idea how it compares with other forum software.

It's free, and I'm a little nervous about using free software because I wonder how long the support will be in existence.

I like the way the software automatically notifies people when someone makes a post on a thread they're watching, but I think most forum software probably does that these days.

A programmer has done a few modifications for me - a mod-rewrite to help Google index the pages (very successful), and just a few days ago he simplified the page titles for me, again with search engines in mind.

A problem with doing modifications is that you have to re-do them if you upgrade to a newer version of the software, and new versions come out fairly frequently.

I hope that helps more than it confuses.
AllanGardyne
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Re: Disadvantages of having an own forum hosted on your site

Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:34 pm

AllanGardyne wrote:
Learner wrote:...you have chosen phpbb.com for your forum software. I assume this was the best package you have found. What are the advantages/disadvantages?

It's free, and I'm a little nervous about using free software because I wonder how long the support will be in existence.

One good thing about phpBB is it's support forum. It is very comprehensive, and I'd like to think that even if official support did come to an end, it's poplularity and the number of programmers who are familiar with hacking for it means the software will be usable for many years to come.

All the best,
Charlie.

P.S.
Debs wrote:I disagree that you can't read every post on your forum ... I read every post on two popular forums

But you write half of them, so it's easier for you. :wink:
Charlie
 
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Re: Disadvantages of having an own forum hosted on your site

Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:38 am

Learner wrote:A question to Allan: you have chosen phpbb.com for your forum software. I assume this was the best package you have found. What are the advantages/disadvantages?


I know this was directed at Allan but let me help out. Yes this forum is built on phpbb, and I manage a phpbb forum myself. Although I have been fairly happy with the forum software, I am definately inclined to switch to Vbulletin which is a paid option. My reasoning is because phpbb is very open to security holes leaving your forum very open to hackers who have bad intentions. I have had my forum hacked/defaced twice now in the last month or so, which is getting beyond ridiculous. The worst part was I hadnt kept a backup so I lost all the foum posts and members so it feels like your starting from scratch. If you do decide to use phpbb make sure to always keep up to date with the latest release, which is currently 2.0.11
dcristo
 
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Thu Dec 23, 2004 11:51 am

Just to clarify, we're talking about different things here...

I was using "hacker" to mean someone who writes unofficial modifications for good, as opposed to "cracker" or malicious hacker (who certainly doesn't).

Cheers,
Charlie.
Charlie
 
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Thu Dec 23, 2004 12:31 pm

Charlie wrote:I was using "hacker" to mean someone who writes unofficial modifications for good, as opposed to "cracker" or malicious hacker (who certainly doesn't)


Hi Charlie, I wasn't referencing what you said, I just responded to the first poster with the experiences I have had with phpbb.
dcristo
 
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Fri Dec 24, 2004 12:39 pm

I know that, you know that... it's the innocent third parties I was worried about! :)

Cheers,
Charlie.
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