Well, as promised, I want to continue to catch everyone up to present day. The best way I think I can do this is by covering the extremes which came at times, the good and the bad.
Today’s installment – The VWS Forum
Virtual World Sailing was, and still is, chugging along rather well. There have been a few notable developments this spring and summer.
First was an early attempt at in early April, after some discussion we purchased a new domain and hosting for a additional SL Sailing wiki that would be part of VWS. After the usual set up and such we evaluated several versions of wiki software. Sadly it became apparent that within a day or two this wiki no matter what the software, was directly in the cross hairs of spammers globally and was under constant spamming attacks. In one instance, in less than 24 hours they had managed to overload a rather robust server and render it useless.
After much study and consideration the wiki was taken down. The main problem, it was open to everyone and thus open to constant abuse. Although this idea is not abandoned, we have to figure out how to implement this and not be spammed constantly.
My personal history on really objecting to the crazy BS being done by Bea Woodget and her vicious “forum” peaked over an argument concerning her forum’s calendar. In fact, it was that particular exchange that finally made me decide to start my own forum, one that didn’t manipulate people, did not perpetrate lies, and was friendly and helpful to all.
Basically, Bea demanded that all events which were listed in the calendar also have follow up reports afterward. I and several others, including cruising groups and others objected to this because there was no need. In a childish and typical despot manner, he then threatened with a daily countdown to delete any events that did not bow to his demands. Even after agreeing with me publicly in his own forum, he ended up deleting SYC events I had set up, as well things like the LCC cruising group, just to name a few. And all this coming from the same person who also took no responsibility for the accuracy of the calendar, instead demanding people do it themselves. End result, a totally incomplete and worthless page of crap.
The only thing it had going for it was it was pretty, being hosted in word press, it used a free plug in to do the work. The downside was, you had to again join another thing to post and Bea had full control of it, your email, IP and all that. And there was proof he employed it for his own use many times.
The VWS Calendar is something that was bothersome from the start. We had been going along for 6 months or so with the calendar that came in the ”can” so to speak, meaning it came with the forum software. I hated it, as most did. It was drab, hard for people to use or read, and generally a bummer. There had always been intention to change it in some manner, but a lot of the optional software that was available as plugins for the forum were equally lousy.
Then something happened that finally was the last straw and made us decide to move on the calendar and make changes, and that we did.
In mid-May, Bea posted one of his long winded BS posts on his forum, declaring that people were too dumb to think for themselves and multiple calendars were not a good thing. He demanded that all others should stop their calendars because, of course, his was the only good one. VWS was mentioned by name.
There were some that objected on Bea’s forum, but in the end, we did something about it.
Analyse pitched in some money, we converted the wiki hosting to word press and I constructed a basic word press site using the same free plugin Bea used, but with a twist. I found that one could buy a plug in to the plug in, allowing “front end submission” of events. People were no longer enslaved to give all their info out and could submit their events, without any sort of sign up at all! The only requirement, it would be held for mod approval to make sure it wasn’t spam. That took on average between a few min to several hours, but it worked! We were elated!
There was also a part of the basic plug in, common to both forums where one can sync. This gave us the opportunity to quickly gather what was in the other calendar correct the mistakes, populate our calendar and then add all of the things missing in the Bea calendar. It took a bit of work, but by the end of the day we had it all. Not only what was valid on her calendar but also tons more events from ours and others thru out the grid. Plus the biggest difference, people can submit without joining, and we were going to actively audit and keep the calendar accurate, not depending on others to do so.
We went live and posted. In a day, there was what only could be described as a volcanic eruption on the Bea forum, with Bea calling us every name in the book, accusing us of all sorts of things, and generally making an ass of himself again. We answered a few of the larger issues here, but that was that.
After several days of ranting, fighting, trying to rally up people against us, and making a general ass of himself, Bea finally posted that he felt like an attacked woman in the street with nobody coming to his aid. That was the end of it, and our calendar remains the most accurate calendar in sailing, still growing and people using the new function we put in. Another success.
The forum continues to grow on a daily basis, with a member count of over 350 now. We just reached the one year mark and things seem like they are going well and stable.