Author Topic: An Invitation  (Read 2502 times)

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Offline Chronos

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2014, 05:49:08 PM »
Thing is, there's so much more on the Internets now than in 2008, people have so many more choices of where to go.

The internet used to be silos of information (site pages, blogs and forums) from one domain to the next, but things have changed dramatically in the past 5 years. The web tools available have turned the internet into matrices of information (the cross-referencing and integration of topics, sites, users, etc). While blogs and forums still exist, I think forums will continue to shrink until they serve only a core audience that eschews change or highly specialized audiences such as product support, blocked content (ie porn) or topics where the web interests of the users are quite narrow, maybe people who are Jeep fanatics or NFL fans. Atheism, or any topic on religion, is not sufficiently specialized to allow a forum to grow, and it's too generic to resist the cross-referencing of the internet tools at hand.

Given the decrease of installations of forum software, any community will have to change to fit the tools of the day. Some of these tools, like Facebook and Google+, make it plain that they do not want anonymity (though it can be forced if required), and consequently some of the things discussed on those sites are limited due to that lack of anonymity.

There are older incarnations of tools that people used to gather and share, such as Google Groups:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/wwgha

However, since Google is pushing Google+ and since Google+ has Communities which are intended to replace Google Groups at some point, what is the point of creating or continuing in a Google Group if Communities are the way to go?
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/117800767173909228802

Nevertheless, we do have representation on both Google incarnations of communities. These have not been used because the forum has continued to work, but we also complain that we aren't getting enough hits, memberships, visitor emails, etc. As HAL said, one of these days Brain is just going to give up on this domain. I don't think Sam Harris expected Brain to keep it open forever just because it was referenced in Harris' book, and more over, Harris referenced the book not the forum. If there wasn't a book titled WWGHA with YouTube videos uploaded in the early days of that popular site, this forum would look like a desert. Brain happened to capitalize on the right tools for the time; those tools have not matured and morphed along with the rest of the web.

This is why I have suggested that we find another place to go when this place goes to hell and never comes back. Creating another domain and installing forum software and expecting people to populate it will be like throwing money and time down a hole.

If the other alternatives are not for you, certainly that's your choice to go and do things elsewhere. If the other alternatives do not provide the possibility of creating communities, then perhaps your time on the web has passed. The web gurus have decided that this is the way to go.
John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline Traveler

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2014, 06:24:40 PM »
I think places like reddit might very well turn out to be viable. There will certainly be changes, some of which will be turnover in membership as folks who like a centralized, anonymous community drift away. On the other hand, it might grow as the group is exposed to more visitors. I have other forums I can visit, some of which have very active communities. My opinion is if we're not renewed you should go ahead. I'll probably give it a try for awhile.
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Offline HAL

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2014, 07:17:37 PM »
While blogs and forums still exist, I think forums will continue to shrink until they serve only a core audience that eschews change or highly specialized audiences such as product support, blocked content (ie porn) or topics where the web interests of the users are quite narrow, maybe people who are Jeep fanatics or NFL fans. Atheism, or any topic on religion, is not sufficiently specialized to allow a forum to grow, and it's too generic to resist the cross-referencing of the internet tools at hand.

Agreed. I can barely imagine starting a new forum. The work I put into ATT was tremendous and that was back in the day, so to speak. Now? I just can't see it.

Offline Nam

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2014, 07:30:58 PM »
While blogs and forums still exist, I think forums will continue to shrink until they serve only a core audience that eschews change or highly specialized audiences such as product support, blocked content (ie porn) or topics where the web interests of the users are quite narrow, maybe people who are Jeep fanatics or NFL fans. Atheism, or any topic on religion, is not sufficiently specialized to allow a forum to grow, and it's too generic to resist the cross-referencing of the internet tools at hand.

Agreed. I can barely imagine starting a new forum. The work I put into ATT was tremendous and that was back in the day, so to speak. Now? I just can't see it.

You're just old.

:P

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Offline HAL

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2014, 07:43:41 PM »
You're just old.

That hurt Nam. That really hurt.  :(

Offline Nam

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2014, 08:41:52 PM »
You're just old.

That hurt Nam. That really hurt.  :(

Should be a comma after the first "hurt". ;)

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Offline HAL

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2014, 08:54:19 PM »
Should be a comma after the first "hurt". ;)

That hurt, Nam. That really hurt.  :(

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2014, 05:04:25 AM »
This is why I have suggested that we find another place to go when this place goes to hell and never comes back. Creating another domain and installing forum software and expecting people to populate it will be like throwing money and time down a hole.

Question.  If Brain does not renew the domain, I presume that anyone else can purchase it?

If that is the case, is it technically possible to dump all the forum information somewhere, then restore it to whatever ISP is used to take ownership of the whywontgodhealamputees.com address?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline HAL

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2014, 08:02:24 AM »

Question.  If Brain does not renew the domain, I presume that anyone else can purchase it?

The name, yes.

Quote
If that is the case, is it technically possible to dump all the forum information somewhere, then restore it to whatever ISP is used to take ownership of the whywontgodhealamputees.com address?

No. You will not get anything in the hosting directory. That does not come with buying a domain name. They are two different entities. You cannot obtain this website and it's database. :(

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2014, 08:05:52 AM »
If that is the case, is it technically possible to dump all the forum information somewhere, then restore it to whatever ISP is used to take ownership of the whywontgodhealamputees.com address?

No. You will not get anything in the hosting directory. That does not come with buying a domain name. They are two different entities. You cannot obtain this website and it's database. :(

That wasn't my question though.  I am aware that all the forum information will remain on the original ISP servers (until they delete it) and doesn't come with the name.

What I was asking was the viability of backing up the forum to a hard drive, then restoring that backup to a new ISP, post-transfer of the name?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline HAL

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2014, 08:16:22 AM »
What I was asking was the viability of backing up the forum to a hard drive, then restoring that backup to a new ISP, post-transfer of the name?

The only way for us to do it would be from the Admin panel, and that just doesn't work for large forums (just ask the experts at the SMF forum). It will hang and won't finish. It shouldn't even be there but they leave it as an option. Backups have to be done via the Cpanel area which we can't get to. And that would just be the database - not the forum files. It would be a messy thing to try and get set up again. Besides - who says you have the right to copy this database and do what you want with it? You'd be asking for legal trouble and the other side has lot's of cash for lawyering up.

Offline HAL

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2014, 08:39:31 AM »
Look at the stats, 2013 was the lowest full year of new topics and new posts since the forum was started in 2008. The subject matter of the webpages is stale and never updated. This place is dieing. It ain't dead, but it's dieing off.

Year       New Topics     New Posts
 2013    1837               52205

Offline shnozzola

Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2014, 09:44:43 AM »
Besides - who says you have the right to copy this database and do what you want with it? You'd be asking for legal trouble and the other side has lot's of cash for lawyering up.

That's the question I had.  When a person posts here, who owns that post?  An enterprising young (?) fellow, say Marshall Brain, may be  collecting all of Kcrady's posts to include in a bestselling book arguing against religion - the intellect here for the debate and for making money off this debate probably started collecting posts years ago.  It would be interesting to see 2 or 3 books come out at the same time with debates from this website and watch the legal fireworks.

edit:  by the way, thank you Chronos, for thinking ahead and doing something.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:49:50 AM by shnozzola »
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Offline Nam

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2014, 10:08:02 AM »
What I was asking was the viability of backing up the forum to a hard drive, then restoring that backup to a new ISP, post-transfer of the name?

The only way for us to do it would be from the Admin panel, and that just doesn't work for large forums (just ask the experts at the SMF forum). It will hang and won't finish. It shouldn't even be there but they leave it as an option. Backups have to be done via the Cpanel area which we can't get to. And that would just be the database - not the forum files. It would be a messy thing to try and get set up again. Besides - who says you have the right to copy this database and do what you want with it? You'd be asking for legal trouble and the other side has lot's of cash for lawyering up.

Yeah, copyright issues.

Technically, the content (even comments made though also belonging to the comment owner) is owned by Brain. It's like having to get permission to publish something that one has already published elsewhere (excepting free content domains); one either has to source and/or pay a fee to do so, or get permission from the initial source. I believe, I've been out of the game for a few years.

But with Brain's constant absence there could be a good challenge made.

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Offline Nam

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2014, 10:12:08 AM »
Besides - who says you have the right to copy this database and do what you want with it? You'd be asking for legal trouble and the other side has lot's of cash for lawyering up.

That's the question I had.  When a person posts here, who owns that post?  An enterprising young (?) fellow, say Marshall Brain, may be  collecting all of Kcrady's posts to include in a bestselling book arguing against religion - the intellect here for the debate and for making money off this debate probably started collecting posts years ago.  It would be interesting to see 2 or 3 books come out at the same time with debates from this website and watch the legal fireworks.

edit:  by the way, thank you Chronos, for thinking ahead and doing something.

No, he'd have to get permission from anyone to use their words. He owns the content of the website, we own our comments but if we posted our words here elsewhere we'd have to source it, I believe.

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Offline Mrjason

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2014, 11:24:03 AM »
Fair point screwtape
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 12:03:10 PM by Mrjason »

Offline screwtape

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2014, 11:35:35 AM »
Let's please not hatch plans to take over Brain's IP on Brain's website.  Thanks.

He's an absent and neglectful owner, but he lets us play on his property for free.  We owe him that much respect, at least.





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Offline Chronos

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2014, 02:32:50 PM »
Yeah, copyright issues.

Technically, the content (even comments made though also belonging to the comment owner) is owned by Brain.

Not quite.

Brain didn't generate the posts and he doesn't own the concepts or expressions inside of them; however, he could make a claim to owning the format of the expressions when published in the form of a forum especially with the order of replies as they occurred. He can take a snapshot of a thread as it occurred and publish it in a book. None of us could make any claim to his snapshot of our chats as being either plagiarism or an act of copyright infringement; however, he cannot assemble all of Kcrady's responses as "The Best of Kcrady" and publish them for profit (he could publish them at no cost). Only Kcrady could assemble all of his posts into a book or website and charge for it.

In other words, Brain's copyright only extends to the manner in which the thoughts were expressed, but not the thoughts themselves or even the very sentences that were written.

It's like having to get permission to publish something that one has already published elsewhere (excepting free content domains); one either has to source and/or pay a fee to do so, or get permission from the initial source. I believe, I've been out of the game for a few years.

Yes, Brain has to get permission to publish the posts elsewhere because they would be out of context from the original publication.

But with Brain's constant absence there could be a good challenge made.

Brain certainly would claim copyright to his book and videos, but I really doubt that Brain would ever stake a claim of copyright to anything that appears in this forum.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline Chronos

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #47 on: January 10, 2014, 02:38:30 PM »
Question.  If Brain does not renew the domain, I presume that anyone else can purchase it?

Yes, or maybe. Some domain providers have a grace period in which they let the owner come back and fix things, others don't.

The most famous example occurred in 2008? when Microsoft forgot to renew the domain for Hotmail.com (midnight Pacific time) and a user in Australia went online to claim it, paid for it using his personal credit card and within an hour the domain was reactivated and he could access his Hotmail account again. I think it took 2 weeks before Microsoft realized what happened, and they weren't thankful to the guy.

If Brain fails to renew the domain anyone can go get it within the rules of commerce, and then point the domain to wherever he/she thinks it should go.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline Emily

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2014, 12:19:20 AM »
Well, since the topic of the closure of ATT and expiration of WWGHA, I'd like to say that I have the hosting space available. I already (and I hope I didn't go behind HAL's back) set up a very minimal alternative to ATT on my server, with a forum and a simple home page. If for some reason this forum does close down on January 14th, I'd be willing to shell out the money for another domain. It only cost me 10 bucks for a year for the alternative to ATT that I created. I also have 15 databases available, so aside from a forum we could do something else that's database driven.

We can all get together and think of really cool topics and whatnot for it. Just a suggestion in case this place takes a shit in the coming days. I know web design so I could design the site, or if someone else would like to I could create an FTP user account and give them access to the directory.

E-mail me at: emily.nicole.costello@gmail.com if anyone would like too, or go to the test forum I made for HALs site when he plans on taking it down. There you guys can collaborate on an idea and whatnot.

Just tossing out a suggestion.
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Offline Nam

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2014, 12:00:27 PM »
Emily,

Approve me! Approve me!

:P

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Offline G-Roll

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2014, 06:32:13 PM »
I miss ATT. That site is blocked (I am a bad person who posts from work) so I can't get to it anymore. Kinda sucks to see it die.

Offline HAL

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2014, 07:09:48 PM »
I miss ATT. That site is blocked (I am a bad person who posts from work) so I can't get to it anymore. Kinda sucks to see it die.

Someone is trying to save it as we speak ...

Offline Nam

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2014, 07:17:42 PM »
I miss ATT. That site is blocked (I am a bad person who posts from work) so I can't get to it anymore. Kinda sucks to see it die.

Someone is trying to save it as we speak ...

She won't approve me. :'( It's okay. I wouldn't "approve" me, either. ;)

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Offline Emily

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2014, 08:53:43 PM »
Ha, I did. But I already broke it messing around with some sql. But for all interesting, the new link is this
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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2014, 09:11:50 PM »
I get a 404 error when I try to access the link both from here & from ATT.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Traveler

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #55 on: January 11, 2014, 09:27:12 PM »
I get a 404 error when I try to access the link both from here & from ATT.

Me too.
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Offline Emily

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #56 on: January 11, 2014, 09:31:34 PM »
Yeah, I really don't know what I'm doing when I've been up since 3 in the morning. It's not 9:30.  :( Plus I was just testing around with some things. I promise I'll stop. This should work.

http://atheistthinktank.org/forum/index.php

Again, I'm just offering up space in case this place craps out. Get together. Collaborate on ideas on what to do next. Etc.
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Offline Chronos

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Re: An Invitation, or Drop Day January 14, 2014
« Reply #57 on: January 11, 2014, 10:19:07 PM »
You are venturing into territory that even I would not dare ... and believe me I am a pretty darn good tinkerer. I think I have gotten too old to sit and tinker constantly.
John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.