Silviamar: A forum in NCN??    
 A forum in NCN??75 comments
picture 8 Apr 2006 @ 09:58, by Silvia M.S

Since I set up the Landing group for newcomers last year, I've realized how difficult is to communicate with the members in NCN because there's not a proper place for it. Many newcomers come to me saying that they don't know where to post a message. Many don't want to set up their own newslog or join any particular workgroup, but would like to have a place where they can post a message and have a conversation with the rest of NCN members.

The conversation rooms are not very user friendly because there are not organized threads that can be followed, as they are in most of the forums. If you post something there, your message becomes hidden very quickly by the next messages, so it's difficult to follow up the conversation.

I've seen that there's also a sort of forum in NCN (Link), which seems to be part of a bigger network named Global Perspectives. I don't understand the organization of that forum, maybe it made sense in the past when NCN started. Most of the threads date from years 2000-2001. And I don't know neither if the people who posted there were members of NCN or not. Besides, in that forum it's not possible to follow a thread in a single page, as you have to click on every individual reply to read it.

We could maybe have here for example a phpbb forum or any other forum utility that can be installed in the server. In this way, we could have a forum divided in certain boards or sections, where members could read the threads in an organized way, and participate with their own messages. Some sections for this forum could be for example:

- A Help board, where members could ask for help. Not only for newcomers but for anybody to comment about a problem with their newslog or with other tool.
- A board about NCN, where we could post the articles written in the Landing newslog about the different NCN tools and thus make them available to everybody. We could also post here suggestions to improve NCN.
- A conversation board, where any member can start a thread and have a conversation with those willing to join.

And any other section or board that you could think about.

In these kind of forums, when a thread is replied it goes to the top of the list, so it can be easily followed up. And also there is the possibility of an email notification when a thread where you have participated is replied. I believe that in this way we all could have a clearer communication channel. This is an exampe of this kind of forum: Link

I wonder what the rest of members think about this possibility. Please, add your comments. I also encourage newcomers to post their opinion, as this article has been created partially because of your comments in the Landing group. And Ming, could this be done in an easy way or would it be very difficult?



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75 comments

8 Apr 2006 @ 10:12 by phill : Great Idea
I like Phpbb forums, theyre easy for me to use, and depending on the amount of users, allot more conversation happens. It seems more like a proper conversation than replies to someones article, which is an incentive to participation.

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I also like phpbb forums, the threads are distributed in a very clear way, easy to follow. Sometime ago I installed a phpbb forum for mac users in my website, and it worked very well.  



8 Apr 2006 @ 11:08 by judih : interesting addition
Such a forum could pool us together. And, as you say, silvia, the chat rooms at the bottom of the page are free-flowing conversations with time and pace pushing prior conversations out of reach (or at least i'm unaware if i can get back in time while i'm there).

i'm in favour.

thanks for initiating the thought.

******
Nice that you agree :-). When I first joined NCN I tried the chat rooms and didn't like them much because I couldn't follow the conversations there, sometimes topics get mixed and they're not easy to follow. I really would like to be able to talk with all of you in a more easy way... let's see if Ming thinks that this sort of forum is viable in the site.  



8 Apr 2006 @ 14:53 by jerryvest : I am always in favor of improved
communication and interaction for our members. Perhaps we can also find a way to poll our members periodically and become more politically active. For example, I would like to see King Bush & the "R's" censored for breaking the Law whenever they wish.

Sorry if this is off subject, but our logs are only viewed by a few hundred individuals so it would be good to see a larger outreach for our progressive participants to express their outrage. Or, perhaps this is not part of the mission of NCN?

Jerry

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A poll would be interesting. Jerry, I remember your suggestion in Landing group about doing a sort of questionaries or surveys. With phpbb forums it's possible to add polls as well :-)  



8 Apr 2006 @ 16:23 by vaxen : great idea...
but I, for one, no longer believe in the efficacy of any globaloney dominant subterfuge even if it disguises itself as a forum...

you'll have to take up the challenge with ye old ming chan and, since NCN is a dictatorship disguised as a demokratian process...good luck.

*****
"globaloney dominant subterfuge" wow!! this is a real challenge for my english vocabulary! :-). Well, let's see what Ming thinks about it. I would really love to have a place for all of us to talk.  



8 Apr 2006 @ 18:14 by bushman : Hmm
Well for one thing, a propper Help room should have a live person there most the time. Vax, your wrong, lol. Again, Im going to mention for the 1000th time, that we need a live voice chat room, that acts as the directory to the site, either maned by a live person or a very cool Bot. It can work as an in site search, where you could type in what your intrested in, and you get a list of places to go just within NCN, or you can choose outside info to other groups or forums on other sites, that specilize in a peticular topic. But thats what people want in a site, by having a help room that is interactive, with voice, just think how many people would of stayed comming back, if when they first came on the site they had direct voice contact with a human and could get thier question answered right then and there, we used to have a help room on Mplayer, and it was always packed with lost people, looking for a specific chat room, or thier mic didnt work, they could get one on one help, and it was all volenteers. But there could also be, a button on every page on the site, that can call up the Bot, or see if the help room is manned at the time, like the blinking dot you get when your someplace on the site and someone sends a personal message to you. You could just lable it help room and just make the button red or green if the room is manned. But it needs to be real time access to help and a live person if possable, that they can talk to. If No human is in the help room , then the Bot will direct your needs. But I do think that if the newbies to NCN were sent directly to a realtime live room, right when they first loged in, we wouldn't have people getting frustrated right off the main entry page.

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A live person or a bot would be really cool. I'm not sure if someone would be available all the time to do this task, but it would be great. I'm not sure if all newcomers would like to have a voice chat for help, as for example many don't have english as their mother tongue, like me. In my case, I would prefer something written than spoken. Anyway, for many other people probably a voice chat would be really useful.  



8 Apr 2006 @ 18:22 by charabbit : Thank you
First, thank you Silvia for thinking of something to get newcomers started.
Thanks to your advice, I did end up finding something I was really interested in but I would also enjoy having a kind of general group where I could spend a while with no preconceived idea of what I may find. It might be fun. Sometimes one just want to relax. Or find a lively discussion going on....

********
You're welcome Germaine, it's a pleasure to help! I hope that you've found your way through the workgroups :-). You know that you can ask us any more questions, as we are in Landing to help.  



8 Apr 2006 @ 20:28 by veritas : ~~~~applause
sounds like total gobbledegook to me... but i get the idea,, anything that makes it easier for techno dummies like me is something to get excited about.... i find it difficult to negotiate sites.. and can spend hours digressing........ but i love that too... the random co-incedences are amazing, and even more amazing how they are probably neither co-incedences or random.... ps vax:namaste

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:-). Yes, I know that it sounds a bit too technical. Let's make an easy summary and say simply that with a forum we would have a place to talk hehehe.  



8 Apr 2006 @ 21:21 by bushman : Ya :}
The language thing is why I mentioned a floating help Bot, that can sample active and online members of NCN, and facilitate personal contact with a online person. Im here everyday and online here till I go to sleep, unless Im playing a war game with my friends. Theres no way to tell realtime that Im here, just that I might be here still, info available, it has to be realtime. I mean we are all willing to help newbies, and there has to be someone of us logged in here at any given time.

*******
Yes, the bot would be wonderful, and as you're online very often you could be the helping person there, together with some others willing to help as well. I would offer my help with voice in the case of Spanish speaking people :-)  



8 Apr 2006 @ 21:39 by jmarc : the internet
is a vast and varied place. The idea that one needs permission to do anything one wants is beyond me. Start a forum page and link to it. Voila. Why talk it to death. Site searches are basic too. LINK

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Of course we can set up a forum by ourselves, I already did that sometime ago, but the problem then is where do we place the link to make it available to every person who joins NCN? We cannot place it in a particular newslog, nor in a particular workgroup. We should have a forum for NCN members to communicate, accesible by every member, so it should be integrated here, not independently from NCN.

There are many forums available in internet to talk to people, I'm already in some of them. But the fact is that in NCN there's none and it would be nice to have one, especially for people who simply would like to exchange ideas with us without setting up a newslog.  



9 Apr 2006 @ 04:16 by iamramtha : Forum
I find that ncn is very spintered. And not very reactive on a personal level.
I am not criticizing here. And maybe this is not the perpose of the site. This is just a personal observation.The fact that we are talking about this shows a need for more interaction. Maybe a forum as you put it, is a good idea. Time will tell.

*******
Yes, let's see! I really think that there is a need for a place to talk. Many newcomers have asked me where they can talk to us, and I couldn't tell them where apart fromt the chat rooms. Many even don't know that they can retrieve past messages there, so they feel pretty lost when they go there. A forum should be much easier to use and improve communication.  



9 Apr 2006 @ 05:51 by vaxen : heh, heh...
yeah jm. but i still laud and applaud silvias' idea. and, no bushman, i don't think that i am wrong (Me? Wrong? Surely you jest?). Forum is forum. A place to hash out ideas. On the way to the forum I was digested by a cat and ended up being born again in this strange, weird, time period. Period.

*******
:-). We all like communicating (probably much more communicating than taking action hehehe). I don't know if the forum would work, but it's worth trying. As I'm a pretty optimistic person, I think that the forum will work :-)  



9 Apr 2006 @ 08:35 by jstarrs : If there's a need...
..then follow the process & link up the communication threads that dangle in space.
I'm away from my 'putor at the moment but will try to be more active when I get back in a week or so.
Good one Silvia.

*******
Ok, see you in a week or so!.
"'putor", "globaloney"... you guys help me to enlarge my vocabulary very much hahahaha. I admit that I even looked up "putor" in a dictionary, though after a few seconds I got it because of the context :-)))
******************************
Sorry, in spanish, I imagine that it would also need clarifying, "'putor", right?
;0)
******
"'nador", it would be really difficult to understand hehehe :-D  



9 Apr 2006 @ 19:11 by otter : forum now
In fact, a forum where ideas can be shared, explored and discussed was exactly what i was hoping to find when i came to this site. Imagine my disappointment when i could not find one.

since the 21st century is widely identified as the information age it is strange that a web site that encourages evolutionary ideas does not, in fact, have a facility for discussing those ideas.

*******
Hello Otter, many newcomers like you think the same about not having a proper place to discuss with NCN members. This was my main motivation to write this article, apart from my own willing to have the forum. Thanks for comming and commenting :-)  



9 Apr 2006 @ 19:35 by bushman : Hmm,
Seems to me the Communicate page, is the place to do your search, because as well the workgroups are a forum space, is just confusing. This site is raw material, is mostly up to you, how you do things. I run mine like a chat room. But havent made access to it with a link from my news log. Ok Ming makes a forums page that is public access to the public work groops, like, putting the link on the main page where it says "chatroom in member area", like a list of chat/forums that are either direct to the public like mine, or members only chat/forums, they just click join as usual, cause the way its worded now, is like , if you want to join you have to contact the moderator of that work group. So its easy to find my chat room by clicking the groups link in the menu, it somehow implies that they need to contact me to join when in fact they can just join. Mplayer had this transporter system, where you could be transpoerted by someone on your contact list, to the place they were at, and visa-versa. So once someone paged you, boom your in the same place yapping away, lol. But really , on this site "you" have to do the work of makeing connections at least for now. :}

*******
Yes, I agree that here is up to us how do we things, we create our own experience here. But of course we can also try to suggest things to make the site more comfortable for us, as we are doing right now :-). And I'm glad that some newcomers have already commented about this topic. I was thinking in the Landing group what to do to encourage newcomers to communicate, and a forum would be a nice place to do this. And not only for newcomers, also for all of us. Many times the newslogs get a lot of comments and the conversations there become pretty caotic to follow.

By the way, do you know if there are any open source forums that support voice chat? It would be wonderful if we could integrate in the forum your idea of the voice help.  



10 Apr 2006 @ 09:22 by rayon : Thanks Silvia for this.
I go with Jmarc as above. And messages have come thro for me while logged on before even finishing a previous reply, so don't know what Bushman is doing, (they show at top, in red, message waiting etc.)

Would be great to have a chatroom where everyone goes, especially if new, to spice up their 3 word no pic profiles. Just to see a new name is great, hoping more from them follows later. A bit of a luxury tho, and not deep like a paddling pool, but lots of larfs, and try to save the world on the side. Why don't people chat on logs? whats the stricture? My chats have moved about, (outside chat rooms) couldn't get away from them, depends on honour and stuff. Apart from the Afghan mountains, NCN is great and flexible.

*******
Yes, at least it would be nice to have a place to read messages and post our own ones in a simple way, without the need to start a newslog to communicate. Many newcomers are pretty lost in NCN when they join, and a forum would help them to communicate. It would be convenient to have a link to it placed in the member start area, where it can be easily seen by everybody.

I think that maybe people don't chat on logs because they don't read them, there are many and some people don't have enough time to read all the messages in all the newslogs. And the conversations in them many times get mixed with several different topics and are difficult to follow. Also, if you want to talk about a certain topic and don't have a newslog, you cannot find a proper place to do it, as you cannot go to the newslog of another person and post a comment not related with the topic discussed in that newslog.
I agree that NCN is great and flexible :-)

++++++

If a similar logic already existing at NCN is used, it would be good. Many other sites visited simply do not compare with this, or should I say ALL other sites visited! Wish I could figure it out for you, but head is not around everything yet. Perhaps it should be a general chat place, not troubleshooting, as this is cumbersome and has own garage here anyway. I don't mind getting the occasional email from NCN, but prefer not the dozens received from other sites. NCN is not difficult at all to figure out, if I can anyone can! Why are there 4, yes four, chatrooms for gobbledy. The only time I wanted to use one to sort out a problem, I selected one not featuring the opponent chained to the door, for a straight exchange. It did kinda work.

Silvia, the other heartfelt suggestion, as you are so kindly asking? Is it possible to outlaw a given word for a month or two. For me this would be - lol - an unsightly abrev., gives unfavourable look to text. Taking a break from overused expressions, livens up stuff. My money is on people reading their logs, not answering is right and proper in their own.

******
Yes, the forum must be something very easy to use, simply a click and you're in. I know that you can manage ok in NCN, but I can tell you for sure that some people are completely lost. For instance, some of them log in one day and join a workgroup, and then they cannot find it anymore. The become pretty frustrated because they lose their way here.

Regarding the abbreviations, I understand you hehehe. Sometimes it's a bit crazy to understand them, but I think that this is the way they usually communicate, we have to let them flow. I find funny to learn new abbrevations! :-)

+++++
Stop me if I am dragging. Seeing Bushman below with another great set up of his, real whiz here, I feel voice chats may not necessarily help newcomers, which was part of the original idea here. The difficulty you relate, Silvia could be a difficulty just with ANY new system, not NCN per se. It would seem two separate options are being put forward here. A view could be on the Voice thing, that it increases the differences, whereas one of the sheer beauties offered now by the system is the leveling of differences, enabling an otherwise closeness, by the very limitation of the slowly writ word, devoid of regional, ethnic, whatever connotations conveyed by voice. The voice would offer another whole stratum.

*******
Not sure if I understand you. Would you then prefer to have only voice chat and not a forum? I think that we could maybe replace the current chat rooms by the forum (as you can do in the forum exactly the same as you can do in the chat rooms but in a more organized way) and add there the voice support. In this way everybody could have the two options available and choose the one they prefer: write or talk :-)

Of course that every system is difficult to use at the beginning, I completely agree with you. But in the case of NCN there are so many tools available that it makes people even more difficult to find their way. Some are also surprised that there is no forum, as it's something very common in many other sites. At least, that's what I've concluded from the messages of many newbies. Of course I prefer to have so many tools available, this is one of the things that I like in NCN :-)

++++

Trying diplomacy here! sorry! The forum sounds good, changing the chatrooms is good, perhaps leave one for chaotic chat. If majority go for Voice option that may be. The Voice option will change the nature of things, it is less transparent communally speaking, but of course better for the individual. Do not see how Voice will enhance community aspect, currently high together with a high level, almost unrestrained, freedom of expression to always a group even if addressed to one. Adding Voice could be divisive. However for a restricted use like troubleshooting it could definitely assist.

For me it is proximity to Diversity of Topic plus People, plus constant mystery, that is great about NCN; using the appropriate Font styles for different categories. I would love to know where/who the new members are - always we have to wait until they say hi first, balancing is not quite right here, suggests barging in.

The tools thing can be on a "need to know" only basis, like the artists palette, modernists work with limited palettes!! simplicity! Anyway, you are the expert, Silvia.

*******
Ups, I'm not an expert at all hehe, I'm only a simple poet & chemist :-)
I'm glad that you're all participating and giving your opinion, here in the newslog or by private messages. Some people like the chat voice, others the forum, others everything... we are really very varied people here, and I like that as well hehehe.  



10 Apr 2006 @ 10:00 by jazzolog : A Live Person
There is only one person, as Vaxen and Bushman indicate, who has power to do anything substantial as proposed at this site. Dominant authoritarianism has been my main objection to NCN from the first instant I was LED into the labyrinth by a couple of compassionate members who thought I should participate. (None of those helping folks is around here anymore.) You'll notice that one person---not to be confused with the Ming in the old Flash Gordon series who sat in front of a giant monitor of the entire universe at all times---has not entered this discussion. He usually doesn't unless someone starts getting edgy about how much he cares. Then he comes in and either 1) finds too much wrong or difficult with a proposal---no matter how many people want it, or 2) says he'll do it...but half the time doesn't get around to it. While many valuable people leave over this behavior, the rest of us hang on, amuse ourselves or work with this or that, make a couple friends, and hope for the best.

*******
Richard, my friend, I'm glad you're hanging on :-). You know that I'm a very optimistic person (ok, maybe a bit naive as well hehehe) :-). I think that maybe Ming hasn't still read this article and will comment when he reads it.  



10 Apr 2006 @ 17:53 by bushman : A single open channel
Well, There is "Roger Wilco" I don't know if it works on a Mac yet. But I think Ming could put it on the server as a base station thats on all the time. You would have to copy and paste the IP into your tranciver. He would just lable it NCN-blabla, with a password of somesort so at least we wouldnt get people that didnt know what it was. But then that might be intresting to not have a password. Anyway, people would have to get used to it, since it does work like a walkie talkie, and people do enevitably talk over someone else due to net lag. Although we could maybe buy a copy of Mplayer/Livve, and tie it into the site somehow, make that the chat rooms, and turn the chat rooms we have now into a a more focused forum. But then there is Yahoo and all that, and no easy way to just click in and talk. without someone setting up a room each time, unless we use a set yahoo area. Or setting up a netmeeting room, that might work too, but it would have to already be set up and stuff with link/button access, on most the NCN site pages. Jmarc and I have tested several voice chat setups, and did have some luck with IRC stuff, but still had to be manualy set up each time. Anyway would be cool to be able to spawn a voice chat area from anywhere on this site, and have voice and vid, with out having to go to some other place to do it and having to set it up everytime. Like just an on-air light that is either red or green, red means theres no room operating but if you click on it you will enter the room and the on-air light turns green thru-out the site, with a drop down window that lists whos in there talking in real time. Then once your in the chat room you have the opption of makeing a private room you can lock and password for private voice. lol, I got spoiled on Mplayer, was so easy, just go to the lobby you want, either find a room or make a room. Is kind of the same concept, but how it is now, those of us who hang out on the communicate page are basicly lobby rats, with a choice of 6 lobbies/rooms, I don't see why we couldnt have voice rooms off the existing lobbies, like, I would hang out in the Asylum lobby, and then make a Lost Tribe voice room in there. As long as someones on or has a room open, a Bot would monitor that info, so anyone on the site could easily talk to someone, thru a pager even, then just tell the person where to go to talk.

******
I've used also many voice chats (netmeeting, yahoo, AIM, ichat, skype) and yes, they always need to set up a room everytime. I've seen some forums which have a button entitled "live help", and you click them and can talk easily with somebody. I don't know which kind of software is that one, but I could ask, maybe it's one of those that you've commented about. We could have that voice chat in the conversation rooms, and then have a forum to write, as I (and many others) really think that those rooms are too caotic to follow up a conversation most of the time because the different threads get mixed very easily.  



11 Apr 2006 @ 12:11 by joevisinry : Good idea
Most people know how to get around a forum (bbs). There's phpbb, aimoo, DCForum to name a few. You will need moderators however.

*******
Thank you for commenting, Joe. Yes, you're right that we will need moderators. I offer my help with that, and probably some others will do it as well. :-)  



12 Apr 2006 @ 00:44 by ming : Forums
Alright, I hear you. Yes, maybe a set of forums would be a great thing to add.

There are forums in the Subject areas, which never have been much used. And forums in the workgroups. But maybe that's all a little too restrictive, and it would be nicer with a forum area where anybody can open new forums and threads.

I'm very familiar with phpBB and have set it up for other sites.

I've so far shied away from trying to integrate other software with the NCN area, worried about that it gets confusing to jump between different interfaces, and with issues about how it integrates with everything else.

It is still possible, though.

Or, I can soup up my existing forum program a bit, and make an area where one freely can add new forums and topics.

And, yes, to make forums work well, there's a need for people to tend them, to act as moderators, etc.

So, how would you like it to work? Like in terms of moderation. Would the originator of a forum be its owner and default moderator, and they can sub-delegate that duty to others?

From past experience, there will be issues of some people not wanting to hang out with certain other people. So, should there be blocking features, of leaving certain people out of a forum you create?

Should anybody be free to create a new forum, and as many as they want?  



12 Apr 2006 @ 00:46 by ming : Wiki
Another, maybe additional, possibility is a Wiki. A Wiki is a set of pages where anybody can edit any of the pages and make new pages as they feel like, and link them together any which way they want. It is best, not for discussion like a forum, but for developing a body of knowledge together. So, more like a collective resource, where anybody can elaborate on any branch they want to.  


12 Apr 2006 @ 00:50 by ming : Voicechat
And, yes, why not voice chat too. Or video. I'm not up-to-date on what basic software would be best to use nowadays. At some point, 10 years ago, a group of people here were using Cu-see me, with was an open source video conferencing software which worked quite well, even over modem lines. Somehow it didn't seem to evolve any further. There has to be something now that is better and still free.  


12 Apr 2006 @ 02:05 by bushman : Hmm
Well theres livve and MplayerEurope still, but Im sure they dont work with a Mac. The only draw back to those is that it dosnt log the text chat, people would have to personaly log it if they wanted to. But it should "feel" like your going someplace and makeing contact with someone, realtime action.  


12 Apr 2006 @ 08:36 by silviamar : Ming
Nice to see your reply, thanks :-). I think that the phpbb forums are very easy to use and most of the people are familiarized with them. In this way anybody can start a thread in any of the available boards and also get an email notice when new replies are posted. It could replace the current conversation rooms, to avoid having different applications to do the same thing.

Is it possible to use the same NCN members database for the forum? If that were possible, people wouldn't need to register again to use the forum, they could simply use their NCN username & password. Phpbb forums use a mysql database, but I don't know if NCN uses a different one, and I don't know neither if the same database can be shared by different applications.

In my opinion, we should first start with a fixed number of boards, because if everybody can create a board, the forum could get pretty messy after a while. We could discuss first which boards we do need, make them and assign some moderators to them. Or even we could add also a board entitled for example "Members boards", inside which anybody can create their own sub-board. In this way, the forum would still remain pretty organized. Well, let's see what members think about this, or if they have any other suggestions!

Regarding the voice chat, I don't know if Mplayer/live works in a mac. Bushman, could you please send me a link where this kind of chat is used? As I use a mac, I could try and see if it works with mine.

Wiki sounds a great addition to build up something together. Would we have a fixed topic, or anybody could add what they want?  



12 Apr 2006 @ 11:40 by ming : Features
No problem as such in setting up phpBB. Yes, it uses mysql. I already have several phpBB installations on the server, for other sites. But the questions is how well it can be integrated. I mean, it has its own signup and member database and separate login and is its own little world. So I'd have to study it in deeper detail, to see how I might automatically create the user account and log somebody in.

A wiki normally has some overall purpose for existing, but anybody can branch off into anything they find relevant, to any level of detail they desire, as there's no lack of space.

*********
Yes, I can imagine that to integrate the forum with the existent tools will be pretty difficult, especially having two separate databases. Most of the times when you change a little thing, other parts of the system can be affected. I remember for example the issue with the elusive posting button that dissappeared and came back from time to time in the Poets workgroup :-)  



12 Apr 2006 @ 17:17 by bushman : Links,
Well, oviously the Mplayer europe thing is messed up, but Livve still seems to be operating. Is still pay to play so to speak, but they still run a free chat area.
[link]

It might work on the new macs running windows and the intel chip, but for the most part it wont run on a mac. But this is the format I like the most, because its easy to jump from room to room or lobby to lobby, basicly it has everything anyone would posably need to create a forum or community, other than auto data storage of loged text chat, now of course they may save everything that runs thru thier server, but users dont have access to it, but, if somehow Ming could sort of copy it and make it work with a mac os too, that might be pretty fun. The pager part works about the same as ICQ, but dosnt save those messages, unless you tell your machine to log it, usualy by typeing //log, then it will log all the text chat for that session in notepad and save it as a chat log automaticly on your machine. Anyway, Ming could just put a button that opens up your Yahoo messenger, where you have a list of NCN contacts who are logged on, of course everyone would have to get a Yahoo account, as well would have to know all thier chat would be monitored by HLS, lol. :}

*****
You're right, I've checked the link and it doesn't work in a mac. I get the message "Compatibility: Macintosh - We're sorry, compatibility with the Macintosh has not been developed. You will need a version of Microsoft Windows."

Regarding your comment about yahoo messenger, voice doesn't work between platforms using yahoo nor MSN. I tried sometime ago with my mac and a pc of a friend and it doesn't work. The only one that I know that works well between PCs and macs is Skype. But probably not many people have an account there.  



12 Apr 2006 @ 23:25 by ming : phpBB
I've looked through the phpBB add-on modules and FAQs. Well, there are a lot of good stuff available in terms of modifications and technical hints for it. But pretty much nothing that is geared towards fitting it into an existing environment. It is more based on that phpBB is the world, and one can add stuff to that, as opposed to fitting phpBB into an existing world. Doesn't mean it is impossible in any way, just that they haven't particularly paved the way for it.

So, I still don't know if it is best to use that, or if I should use my own kind of forum module. The basic functionality of a forum isn't necessarily complex, so it isn't necessarily a big problem if I simply implement the kinds of stuff we'd want. I'd think it probably would be nicest if, for example, one sees somebody's NCN profile when one clicks on a username, rather than some parallel profile with different stuff in it. And if private messaging capability used the existing NCN features, rather than a separate system of mailing.  



13 Apr 2006 @ 03:56 by judih : that sounds right, Ming
A forum needs to be integral to this site, not a distant route to a separate planet.
If it's possible, it'd be great. Again, i thank Silvia for setting these thoughts on the map and getting the discussion going. i could offer to do a bit of moderating, if the situation requires some help.  



13 Apr 2006 @ 08:57 by silviamar : I agree
Yes, it's better to have a forum integrated in NCN, using our existent profiles. Ming it would be great if you can design your own forum module! There are not too many features needed:
- Different boards to keep threads organized
- Email or private message notification of new replies
- Threads going to the top of the list when replied
- Possibility to see all the messages in a thread together in the same page (not as in the old forum, where you need to click every reply to see it)
- Option to edit, delete or quote the messages
It would be great if you can do it. If not, we will have to keep it separated. Better that than nothing :-)  



13 Apr 2006 @ 15:59 by ming : Features
Thanks, that's helpful. I'll show you something soon.

******
Thank you Ming! :-)  



14 Apr 2006 @ 14:39 by ming : Features
Thanks, that's helpful. I'll show you something soon.

******
Thank you Ming! :-)
Hey, we've had exactly this same conversation before hehehehe  



14 Apr 2006 @ 15:03 by ming : Features
Thanks, that's helpful. I'll show you something soon.

*****
Wow, a third one! We can continue in this way forever like robots until the new forum is finished hahahaha  



20 Apr 2006 @ 13:14 by ming : Features
Thanks, that's helpful. I'll show you something soon.  


20 Apr 2006 @ 16:38 by bushman : Hmm,
Must be the non-hostile, Mingbot, lol. :}  


20 Apr 2006 @ 17:12 by silviamar : hahahaha
yes, yes, sure it's that!! :-))))))  


20 Apr 2006 @ 19:58 by jazzolog : Is There
a refreshment stand in this theater?  


20 Apr 2006 @ 20:02 by jstarrs : Why?
You looking for a hot dog franchise at the front door?  


20 Apr 2006 @ 20:04 by silviamar : :-)
Please, come in and serve yourselves!! :-)))  


21 Apr 2006 @ 22:27 by jstarrs : Why, I wouldn't deprive myself...
..of that!
Thank you!  



29 Apr 2006 @ 17:10 by judih : silvia...any word?
ming hasn't provided any new 'helpful' comments. Have you heard from him?

*******
Hi Judih, he said that he will design the new forum by his own, to facilitate its integration within NCN. So I suppose that it will take some time until he finishes it. When I get news about it I will post them here, and also will post a message in Landing group as well :-)
______________________________

great! hope all's well with you. thnx for keeping me tuned!

*******
Oh yes, I'm fine, but these days I'm involved in so many things that don't have much free time. But things will recover normality soon :-)
I do hope you're ok as well!! I will write you when I have some more time, at the end of the week ;-)  



5 May 2006 @ 13:52 by martha : Abuse
I have refrained from commenting Silvia because while I like your idea unfortunately that will not stop the abuse here at NCN. It will filter into your forum no matter what your good intentions are. Certain people here at NCN abuse others and also set up false identies to abuse others. So these problems really need to be dealt with otherwise ming will be just setting up another area for the abusers to enter.  


5 May 2006 @ 16:32 by bushman : Hmm
Why you bring your whinning in here? Other than to slander a network that dosnt, katter to your open-ended interpitation of abuse. Your actting out your disgruntaledness, with your interpitations, theres no where on the planet that you wont see some sort of abuse, but your interpitaions of abuse only serve to isolate and dis-member. Once theres a forum, you can do your thing and whine there. Please don't disrupt this thread anymore.  


5 May 2006 @ 17:29 by martha @66.215.87.242 : Bushman and abuse at NCN
We have already had a forum on abuse here at NCN and set up clear guidelines bushman. You were part of the process. I am simply letting Silvia know that abuse still continues here at NCN. The guidelines that ming set up are not working. Ming made it quite clear that members names are not to be used on open logs which is constantly violated here at NCN. So it does matter as to what Silvia is trying to do here. And she needs to understand false ID's here and how poeple use them to abuse others. She is new here. If I don't tell her then who is going to? Or maybe it should all just be pushed under the internet rug!
Just because you turn a blind eye to abuse here at NCN doesn't mean others will also.  



5 May 2006 @ 17:51 by bushman : No, your not,
your just mucking around, Im sure shes intellegent enough to deal with it on her own. We know everyone that has a so called false ID, just a little reading is all you got to do, to figure out, who is who. You just make innocent people a victum, like you do to yourself. The conflict room is not a publicly accessed forum.  


5 May 2006 @ 21:22 by jazzolog : Silvia's Plan
for an NCN Forum might certainly encounter problems...of any number of sorts. However, the cart is before the horse in such discussion. Until Ming follows through on his promise on April 13th, 14th and 20th of this thread, why waste effort worrying? In regards to the Forum we're all just sitting here waiting.  


6 May 2006 @ 01:25 by Vibrani @70.34.255.40 : abuse
New members should know what they will face should they become active members of NCN's forums, chat rooms, public logs, and so on. If it doesn't get nipped in the bud, and if members don't stick to the guidelines (including those who were involved in their creation), abuse will continue. What is problematic is that that complaints can't be filed if someone is coming in illegally, such as using a code so as not to allow their member name to be seen (one person in particular is notorious for doing this). Then we have the Blueboy story. And complaints aren't being handled consistently, even though each case is unique.

Ming never got back to me about my complaint, so I had no way to know if he was getting involved or what transpired. Why no communication with me, Ming? If someone blocks their log from members being allowed to edit or delete their comments, then all the work Ming does is for nothing. Then there is the non-existent mediation team. What is that all about these days? If you don't want to mediate, get yourself off of the list.

Bushman, I don't agree with you at all about your comments to Martha about her being a victim. This is not about that, nor does Martha or I feel like a victim. This is about a principle - abuse, slander. So why has this become a thing of a few people fighting abuse being attacked - by everyone else who supports abuse? Ask yourselves why YOU support abuse and slander.  



6 May 2006 @ 07:32 by bushman : I don't
suport yours or martha's interpitation of what is abusive or slander and what's not abusive or slander. I'm totaly against "Gross abuse or slander". I really don't think I can make that any more clear. :}  


6 May 2006 @ 10:31 by silviamar : potential problems are everywhere
I remember that when I set up the Landing group last September and talked about it in my newslog, this same issue arised in the comments section (Link). I said there that I can imagine that there would be some problems, but that we should face them when they come, not before. I say the same now. So far the Landing group has been a safe and calm place, sometimes too quiet but it's fulfilling its help role, so I'm glad I've set it up and that some of you have joined to help as well. We cannot know what will happen with the new forum until we have it, we can intuit some problems but this shouldn't stop us from starting it. Life is full of problems and this doesn't mean that we cannot live it and walk every step.

I've been in NCN for almost a year now, and in this time I've seen some problems arising among certain people. But also I've seen a great & positive interaction among others. In every place where human beings are involved, there are always some issues related with the interaction between the people and the behavior of some, but we cannot simply stop doing things because of some potential problems. The forum will benefit many people, enhancing the communication, and your replies here in this thread are a good evidence that we need a communication place in NCN better than the current ones. So well, let's wait until Ming finishes setting up the forum and then let's see what happens. If there are problems, we could even set up in the forum a Complains Section :-)  



6 May 2006 @ 11:22 by jazzolog : Bushman Spinning
Thank you Silvia and Vibrani for maintaining calm and moving forward on certainly one major concern at this site. Another is Ming and how he happens to respond to things---which is why I think it would be great if other members were allowed to have authority to help him out with some moderating...and not just techie stuff. However, Bushman's comment is very surprising. What has been made crystal clear to me over the years is his position that sorting out differences on the Internet is hopeless and that full battledress is the way to log in to anywhere. Bushman has opposed every attempt I've seen by anyone to finetune this site in terms of ethical behavior. He consistently categorizes any interest in the topic as "whining"...or at least I believe that's the word he means in his unique spelling style. But individual complaints and styles are not really the thrust of this article or thread.  


6 May 2006 @ 12:18 by skillz : forum
Yeh i fink itz a great idea 2 av decent chating versilitys coz the 1z ere r lousey.  


6 May 2006 @ 12:24 by jazzolog : Oh Fine!
Dkill, meet Bushman.

Hey Judih (while we wait), how many poets can you think of who make wondrous work with original spellings? Jstarrs too, if you're still around.  



6 May 2006 @ 12:31 by Vibrani @70.34.255.40 : Bushman
Bushman, I think you need to look up the definitions of abuse and slander. They are not interpretations. They are pretty clear across the board, there are even legal definitions of both.  


6 May 2006 @ 12:34 by Vibrani @70.34.255.40 : Sylvia
I've been at NCN for 11 years - right after it began. I've seen it all here. Yeah, here and there are positive interactions and relationships developed.

Sylvia, we ARE tackling problems as they arise. We are dealing with the present, or at least trying to, amid a lot of hostility and resistence.  



6 May 2006 @ 14:48 by judih : silvia, hey
Yeah, a good thing about a new forum would be the opportunity it would present for restating ground rules and having moderators for each area, responsible for seeing that the ground rules are adhered to. Minimal moderation for ensuring a feeling of safety. That wouldn't curb freedom of speech but would ensure that such freedom wouldn't infringe on others' rights.

as for original spellings, Richard, yes of course there are those who plough through the language inventing bizarre configurations (like the wondrous e.e. cummings) but still, if language is to convey a message, then word cut-ups and inverted symbols are there for artistic intent.

Other than that, i kind of enjoy standard spellings - it soothes my english teacher brow.  



6 May 2006 @ 15:49 by jazzolog : Plowing Through The Furrows
of English teacher brows, that is. You too, Judih? OK Martha, here's another one for red pencil remarks. :-)

Actually Vi, Bushman posted an interesting comment at Asylum Chatroom last night. He refers us to an article announcing a new law about "annoying" someone on the Internet without disclosing your "true identity." [link] May be difficult to enforce. Like, if you don't know the guy's identity how are you going to complain? Obviously a devoted Webmaster may be able to help track down the perpetrator...but proving libel and slander is hard enough without having to show how someone is "annoying." Flame artists everywhere are going to want to test this one!  



6 May 2006 @ 16:55 by bushman : Well again,
if any of the arguments or abusive behavior that goes on in NCN, ever went to a real court, the court would throw it out, as a frivolous waste of the states time. There was only one time, since Ive been here, where what was published, could have been taken to a real court, and dealt with. Everything else is just people being snotty to each other, and it's my contention that those people, learn to behave.  


6 May 2006 @ 18:47 by judih : true, bushman
it's hard to legislate legal quantities of snot (or snottiness). That's the problem with the law. As a law, it begs exaggerated infraction. As a threat, it means little. Far better for those of us with the intent to keep our noses clean to implant within our conscience a snot/tiness monitor.  


6 May 2006 @ 19:12 by jazzolog : This Is True
and I agree. Sometimes we don't know how much spit really is in us. The community is a help in that regard.  


7 May 2006 @ 13:53 by ming : Forums
Oops, sorry for the duplicate postings. I had left the window open, and it reposted when I restarted my browser.

Forums in themselves will certainly not make any problems go away in terms of people abusing each other or not getting along. But forums are well suited to be moderated. Meaning, there will be somebody in charge of each forum who can stop people from misusing it.

Whether that turns out to work better for everybody than it does in newslogs, I don't know.

I should note that there are several things at play here. There's a general rule about communicating respectfully. However, there's also the idea that there are many different spaces here, and each one might have different rules. If the rules are explicit and somebody's policing them, it doesn't really matter what they are, as long as nothing outright illegal is going on. There's no good foundation for having everybody follow the exact same rules, other than some basic thing about having to respect the rules in the space you walk into.  



7 May 2006 @ 14:53 by judih : respecting the rules
this seems like a basic prerequisite for joining the forum. Sounds reasonable.  


7 May 2006 @ 15:15 by martha : well said ming
And rules do not have to be long and complicated. Simple guidelines can create wonderous results and still allow each person to speak their truth without abuse or slander.  


7 May 2006 @ 17:30 by silviamar : I agree as well...
...though it's a bit sad that we adults need rules to behave respectfully with each other. I was thinking how many times we say to children: "you have to be a good boy", "you have to be kind with the other kids", "don't insult", "don't be rude"... and at the end we adults behave sometimes much worse than children. The reality is that we need some rules, so it will be convenient to have them indicated clearly in the forum, and have moderators to take care of them.

I would like also to suggest that people use the Preview button and read carefully their messages before hitting the posting button. Sometimes we can be driven by the feeling of a particular moment and post things that we wouldn't post if we had read it more carefully or if we had thought about the issue for a while.

And what about editing the messages? Do you think that edition should be allowed or not? I've seen some forums where the following sentence is incorporated automatically at the end when a message has been edited after a reply has been posted: "This article was modified on 10/02/2006 at 07:02 pm." I think such a method looks pretty convenient.  



7 May 2006 @ 17:41 by judih : editing is a basic right
i want to be able to correct typos or insert words if in a mad rush i exclude them. Yes to editing!
In some forums, if an edit is done within 15 minutes, an automatic editing comment isn't seen, but after that point, it's noted. And multiple edits are also visible, which is always interesting.

In some forums, there's also a space to indicate reason for editing. (thought better of it, added a thought, a link, etc)

i like having the capability to work with a post.  



8 May 2006 @ 09:42 by jazzolog : A Word Of Caution
It is a pleasure to see this thread stir again, I guess inspired by Ming's comment yesterday. However, it is exactly at this point in past history that people think progress is occuring and get their hopes up. If nothing happens after that, discouragement sets in and tempers start to flare. More valuable people have quit NCN at this juncture than over any issues like flaming or such stuff. Martha knows that, but this may be Silvia and Judih's first time around with this dance. Let me gently remind you that Ming promised to "show you something soon." I suggest you hold him to that and not go off on a tangent about rules. Once you have the model he is going to show you...and after it actually is installed(!)...there'll be time to discuss rules for use. (Ming also has left a comment at my Log along the same lines. I'll write to him directly over there.)  


14 May 2006 @ 11:15 by jazzolog : What We've Been Shown So Far
is that "soon" is longer than a month. How about an update on progress, Ming?  


14 May 2006 @ 13:52 by silviamar : I'm also curious
to see how things are going regarding the forum :-). If we can help with anything please tell us, Ming.  


14 May 2006 @ 15:04 by judih : patience is required
i've momentarily been shaken out of my soma (richard's dx), and yes i'm new and yes, i'm hopeful, and yes, i would love to know if there's somethin goin on.

back to reality, wake me if the helicopter shows up and lifts me higher.  



14 May 2006 @ 16:05 by silviamar : patience and
optimism. Let's keep the optimism always high! :-)  


27 May 2006 @ 10:08 by jazzolog : In Case You Missed It...
from Ming's NCN Journal~~~

25 May 2006 @ 09:51 by jazzolog : Perhaps
this is the forum Silvia was suggesting here~~~
[link] ?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
27 May 2006 @ 02:47 by ming : Forum
No it isn't. Coming up.

********
Jazz, thanks, I had missed that comment!
I'm glad that the new forum is coming up. We're all looking forward to it :-)  



14 Jun 2006 @ 22:34 by jazzolog : Soon Is Longer Than 2 Months
Do you have an update on the forum, Ming?

******
I look forward to have the forum! :-)  



17 Jul 2006 @ 20:06 by armos : What about Silvia's forum?
Whether the forum is open? How to find out its address? If not it is open, why?

******
Hello Armos, the forum hasn't still been set up, we are waiting that Ming tells us how he's doing with it. As soon as I receive any info, I'll post it here. I'm really looking forward to having the forum.  



21 Jul 2006 @ 09:10 by jazzolog : "Soon" Is Longer Than 3 Months
Welcome Armos, and good luck to you. I know Silvia is positive and optimistic enough to keep hoping (rather than wishing she'd never gotten into this proposal---or at least never posted it here). When Ming finally gets perturbed enough to reply, he'll have wonderful excuses...and everyone will encourage and support him, having no alternative.

This is nothing, compared to the other plans and promises he's made through the years for the site. There was to be a survey of the membership on how the Network could be improved to meet needs and expectations. Two members volunteered to help him. That was 3 or 4 years ago. (Since then, one of those members quit NCN in frustration, the other got married and moved to New Zealand, and Ming left this country for France.) Around the same time he showed a few of us a new design for the site. I believe the response was positive all around. (Some have described the site's background style as looking like the floor of a public lavatory.) Ming had a helper near his home who was going to facilitate the work with him. None of this ever got done.

When Ming has responded publicly to my criticisms, it has been either 1) Richard doesn't like me for some reason, or 2) Richard's trying to take over the site. Many members believe these charges apparently, and think I have some kind of personal ax to grind. My only motive continues to be the hope for fuller fruition of the wonderful and necessary potential of this site for its membership---some of whom pay money for annual subscription.

******
Hi Richard! I've seen your reply right now, I wish there were a way to receive an email notification everytime we have a post in our newslog.

Well, I know that it's not an easy task to get the forum created, and from your experience so far here I understand that this may never happen. But I'll keep hoping until I get a clear "no". I know, I know that I'm too optimistic... or maybe too naive? :-)

And regarding your last paragraph, many of us know the great work that you've been doing here in NCN, it's great that you're still sticking around here! Hugs from Spain!  



16 Dec 2008 @ 03:46 by del : Ning?
Hi, I just read this article and wondered if it might be a good idea if we could get people to join Ning. I'm on a martial arts network on Ning and its pretty good I think. This network feels a little compartmentalised. I guess its just a case of someone starting a new network on Ning? Thoughts?

Regards,
Des.  



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