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» Attention Brent Haines!

Hawk   


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Post #1

Several members of flute related groups on Facebook are reporting that they are not able to join or log into the Flute Portal. Here is one persons recent posting:

" I had to use special plugins on my browser to prevent redirection if, and only if, accessing this website from google. It would redirect to several scam websites so it is infected with something. My guess the software or database hasn't been updated in a long time. I ran some really deep virus scanning and didn't find anything so I'm thinking whoever infected it is just getting revenue from the redirects. Also at the time I had done some research looked like a common thing that can happen. I see it only with Flute Portal. It looked like it was a really cool place, but without being able to create a new account, I can't post so I've not checked it. I also prefer a forum platform that can be searched over the fb groups generally."

Hopefully Brent Haines will see this and offer some direction...


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Geoffrey   


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Post #2

Hi Hawk,

I'm certain that Brent knows about this (in part because I told him during a phone conversation at one point) and because he has a new webmaster who is theoretically rebuilding the site. Brent and I talked about some of the problems affecting the site, especially the various "hacks" that had been done going back years. This includes some of those mysterious re-directs as well as the blogs being peppered with ads for Viagra and Cialis. Apparently the WordPress platform (which was used for the blogs) is very susceptible to this sort of thing.

The broken registration is a more recent problem.

I know that Brent is interested in restoring the Flute Portal, but I also know that it is a time/money commitment and I gather from his newsletter that he has been pretty busy. I believe there have been some changes in his flute-making crew and he has had to spend extra time managing the changes. Given that I suspect that the FP is not a high priority (nor would it be for me in a similar circumstance).

However, I'm hopeful that the forums will be restored and updated (at the least). I strongly suspect that much of the rest of the site, if not all of it, will go away (music, blogs, etc.). The infrastructure that was built to allow things like the music section is likely outdated and rebuilding it would be onerous. But I'm speculating. Even though Brent and I have spoken about this I don't have any current insight into what he or his webmaster have in mind.



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musicaldomes   


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Post #3

I was thinking over this recently.

Is there a reliable backup of the site, specifically the forums, if everything just falls apart? Are we all to hop over to Facebook if the site falls off the web?

domes

QUOTE(Geoffrey @ Oct 31 2017, 01:24 PM) *
Hi Hawk,

I'm certain that Brent knows about this (in part because I told him during a phone conversation at one point) and because he has a new webmaster who is theoretically rebuilding the site. Brent and I talked about some of the problems affecting the site, especially the various "hacks" that had been done going back years. This includes some of those mysterious re-directs as well as the blogs being peppered with ads for Viagra and Cialis. Apparently the WordPress platform (which was used for the blogs) is very susceptible to this sort of thing.

The broken registration is a more recent problem.

I know that Brent is interested in restoring the Flute Portal, but I also know that it is a time/money commitment and I gather from his newsletter that he has been pretty busy. I believe there have been some changes in his flute-making crew and he has had to spend extra time managing the changes. Given that I suspect that the FP is not a high priority (nor would it be for me in a similar circumstance).

However, I'm hopeful that the forums will be restored and updated (at the least). I strongly suspect that much of the rest of the site, if not all of it, will go away (music, blogs, etc.). The infrastructure that was built to allow things like the music section is likely outdated and rebuilding it would be onerous. But I'm speculating. Even though Brent and I have spoken about this I don't have any current insight into what he or his webmaster have in mind.



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tootieflutie58   


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Post #4

Some of us aren't on facebook, so I hope that doesn't happen!


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Geoffrey   


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Post #5

From what I understand, backing up the forums is not that easy. I don't know anything at all about the technical details of what is involved, but when Jared was still the webmaster we discussed it and it sounded pretty involved. I honestly don't know what would happen if the software crashed. The entire sites data is hosted on the Amazon AWS servers, but they are not the actual host of the site itself (a company in New Zealand or Australia actually hosts the site). Don't ask me the distinction between the data and the actual site, because I don't have the foggiest. I'm not even 100% sure I've got my facts straight wink.gif

It would be a drag if the forums vanished, because not only are plenty of folks not on Facebook, but Facebook as a place to have ongoing conversations and a searchable database...well, it sucks. I've joined a few flute groups on FB and quickly became disgusted with the truly limited value of them. Facebook is pretty much all about the moment, much like Twitter seems to be (I don't use or follow anything related to Twitter). Conversations take place, then once the chatter dies down they disappear never to be seen again...

I truly think that FB is a poor substitute for a fully featured forum.


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Terry B   


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Post #6

Yes.
Facebook is really a here today gone tomorrow kind of information layout.
I think one thing good about it is that because whatever you post has such a short shelf life, you can
re post things and it's not a big deal.
But that's about it really.
A full forum is better but this one is suffering with no new registrations.
Many of the older registered folks have moved on it seems.
Even though we didn't agree on some issues, I miss their snarky good hearted comments on issues
Flute related and otherwise.
It was interesting to say the least.

The portal taught me a lot about the flute and many related issues like recording and playing and other fun stuff too.
i hope we get a chance to see it through it's mid life crisis. laugh.gif


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Rick McDaniel   


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Post #7

This site has been the best for fluties, that I am aware of, since it began. While that has had a fairly long run, by now, we have to recognize that the site is unlikely to be profitable. Keeping anything going, in today's world, that doesn't make any real money for the site owner, is obviously difficult.

I hope that it can continue, but I have little intention of going to FB, as I consider that site to be the most invasive site there is, in terms of intrusion, into your personal business. For those who go there for business purposes, I suppose they can justify the intrusions..........for me, for personal use, in sharing with others, I simply prefer not to go, where I know intrusions will occur, and that those can extend into my personal space, and not just what I put on the site.

That's why I won't use the cloud either. The tech sector, has made it their goal to be able to access all of your personal information, anytime they want to, by forcing you to use tech that gives them that access. Anyone who doesn't recognize that fact, is being naive.

So, if this site can be saved, great. If not, well, it has been a great time, sharing with others, in our hobby. We shall see.



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Geoffrey   


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Post #8

I believe that if the FP were stripped down to be just the forums and nothing else, it would not be costly to keep it running. The big expenses usually happen when changes are made or the infrastructure is being built. Constructing the FP was quite expensive, especially since I experimented with a lot of ideas that didn't really work out the way I had hoped :-) The Market is a good example of a cool idea that never really got a chance to grow into anything. It was designed to generate revenue for the site but it never even ended up paying for itself (meaning the cost of the software and the labor involved in integrating it with the rest of the site). Over the course of about six years I could have bought a new car with the money I put into the site, but that was because I had Jared doing some fairly cutting edge stuff (at the time) such as the user-powered Music section.

But if the site can be reduced to just forums, the cost of monthly hosting is pretty modest--less than $100 certainly. In such a case, a simple PayPal donation button would probably do the trick. There are enough users who would be willing the give a couple of bucks every now and then that the hosting costs would be taken care of.

It's possible that Brent might have something even better in mind (meaning more than just the forums). He might find a way to keep some of the rest of the site, but I sort of doubt it. Not from lack of willingness, but merely because the internet is always changing and the structures upon which sites are built do become old and obsolete over time and the cost of trying to salvage the rest of the FP would be prohibitive, even if it were possible.


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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 18th November 2017 - 12:20 AM