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#954943 - 03/02/2011 13:25 Re: site down? [Re: RoadkillNZ]
Scottie A Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 23/09/2009
Posts: 2050
Loc: Spring Mountain, Greenbank
Originally Posted By: RoadkillNZ
Originally Posted By: Scottie A
Originally Posted By: pkgjmg
Originally Posted By: Scottie A
I think that there needs to be a limitation placed on how many times a user can post within a certain period say 1-2 post per hour max especially for new users so that they can get a feel for how this forum 'Community' runs and behaves. It would not be hard with the forum software/extension/plugins available these days. This way we would hopefully get more bulk informative postings hopefully and less one liners. A reputation system would not go astray either...


they sound like good idea's scottie - the better your reputation the more you can post - simple !


Ive done my fair share of web design for the last few years and yeh this would be possible but it really depends what forum software they are running here, it actually looks like some kind of embedded CMS type software which may actually be alot harder to implement such a system if so than using open source or standalone software phpbb, Vbulletin, IPB and so forth.


There is a possiable problem with this theory if the new user actually has valuable information about any current weather events and happen to live in the middle of it while it is happening, they are then restricted to what they can post about it, especially in the tech threads, or they have been posting in the lounge and they have a thunderstorm with 50 cent hail just pass overhead, but they can't warn people because htey have hit thier limit. We also have to remember that last night was unprecedented in Queensland history, coming after another unusual event which made the awareness of this forum higher than would of been if it had not of been for the earlier floods. I would hate to see people to have restrictions based on 1 event. It is better to have modding in the forums, with the mods having private words to offenders if need be, with individual suspensions/bans for behavior. IMHO


As Ive heard many of the MODS say here lots of times is that this forum is not a gospel all information on here should be taken with caution and that everyone needs to listen for warnings from the authorities as these are confirmed and trusted sources of information. I don't know how many posts that I and many others have read on here that you can just read/feel the adrenaline/excitement in the posting which does alot of the time leads to over exaggeration of the situation.

A limit on posting p/h (per hour) would allow for a better quality of posting hopefully as people would have more time to put that adrenaline filled thoughts aside (as we all get in severe weather events) and post decent thought through information here.

The other thing is if you are posting here to warn people yes it is a reasonably good idea it does seem to travel as we saw with the "MONSTER" term being used by the media which was given birth to here on the boards. Just think of how many people are actually watching this forum in your area at the time of a severe weather event I would guesstimate 5% max, time would be better spent calling authorities BOM, Emergency services and so forth as they have to power to send out broadcasts over Radio TV other Formal Internet sources which many more people would listening/watching.

A reputation system whether interlinked with how many post you can make per hour or just in it self would be a good idea as people who consistently post great information would be able to be rated and there for you get an idea of how valued the source of info truly is. This is a good thing for guests and new members who have not been with this board for long as they would have the insight into who is more reliable than others.

My account says that I have registered my sometime in 2009, which really is not a long time but certainly I have got know who is the more reliable sources of information poking around in here. I have also been lurking around this board for a much longer time just as a guest as many of the members here have done and finally went that extra step to contribute to the board.



Edited by Scottie A (03/02/2011 13:29)
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#954963 - 03/02/2011 13:44 Re: site down? [Re: Scottie A]
!SCHUMMY! Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 22/04/2008
Posts: 2915
Loc: Jimboomba, SEQ
Scottie - I like your idea on time limits between each post, 2-4 each hour would be sufficient. As you get more recognised and people see that you know what you are talking about and always give accurate information (observations/proper forecasts) and have been a member for a while 1-2yrs+ maybe the time limit between posts can be waived or even reduced significantly to allow the knowledgeable posters to post more detailed information regularly.

Also one way to get rid of one liners being posted is having a "minimum" of what you have to post...maybe 50 words or somewhere close to that, so then people are forced to post longer posts and more detailed information, unlike "It raining", "getting very windy here now", "just had a huge gust come through" etc. These only have a few words in them so it could work.

Splitting threads is a great idea when they start to get over 100 pages (20 posts per page) long and when a new page in created every few minutes. This was down with the flood disaster down here in SEQ where the main thread was closed and 3 others were opened to split the vital information up. I think this should have been done with the YASI chit-chat thread at around the 150 page mark and then started fresh or split into multiple threads like I stated above.

Having more server can help in the short term but wont necessarily help in the long term with more and more people watching/posting in the future as this Forum gets well known around Australia.

When people sign up it should be mandatory to put your location in your profile aswell because there were a lot of people saying this in the thread. Then we would know where they are posting from and wont have to ask "Where abouts are you?" and this would save posts aswell.

There are a lot of great ideas in here but i find these one are the most important.


Edited by !SCHUMMY! (03/02/2011 13:46)

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#954971 - 03/02/2011 13:50 Re: site down? [Re: pkgjmg]
Island viewer Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 01/04/2010
Posts: 247
Loc: Eimeo Qld 4740
Originally Posted By: pkgjmg
Originally Posted By: Scottie A
I think that there needs to be a limitation placed on how many times a user can post within a certain period say 1-2 post per hour max especially for new users so that they can get a feel for how this forum 'Community' runs and behaves. It would not be hard with the forum software/extension/plugins available these days. This way we would hopefully get more bulk informative postings hopefully and less one liners. A reputation system would not go astray either...


they sound like good idea's scottie - the better your reputation the more you can post - simple !
I would agree with that, it became almost impossible to keep up with valid info because there was so much drivel being posted
_________________________
Eimeo Point, Mackay, Qld

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#954988 - 03/02/2011 14:04 Re: site down? [Re: !SCHUMMY!]
windjammer Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 31/08/2006
Posts: 948
Loc: Nowra, NSW
I'm not sure I like the idea of limiting posts, especially in a thread designed to chat about the event. People, especially noobs, have a lot of questions and there's nothing wrong with an honest inquiry, nor do I think there's anything wrong with statements like "It's getting very gusty now"

I do think there's been a problem with some individuals making statements like "My gut feeling says this cyclone will hit Yeppoon" and other such tripe. Perhaps posters making sweeping statements that deviate wildly from official advice should be required to post a link or cite a source?

The mods do a great job, but I believe, on this occasion, the continual bickering and snark jammed up the thread a lot (to the point many stopped reading and contributing) as do comments made by non-mods who feel they need to police other members. Perhaps next time these individuals could PM the real mods and volunteer their time, because god knows they could probably use a break!




Edited by windjammer (03/02/2011 14:04)

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#954989 - 03/02/2011 14:04 Re: site down? [Re: Island viewer]
99wazza Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 27/01/2011
Posts: 59
Loc: Bundaberg
Dear Weatherzone enthusiasts,

I can now confirm that this site was taken down last night by the secret government organisation responsible for ensuring that conspiracy theorists have something to talk about. In fact, the person who was ultimately responsible for flicking the switch was Elvis, who managed to do it from his office on board the cloaked spaceship hovering in orbit over Australia.

Sincerely yours,

Harold Holt

Get a grip people...this site in all likelihood was experiencing extraordinarily large volumes of traffic last night and the servers just most likely couldn't cope.
_________________________
"For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every sky has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously."

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#955002 - 03/02/2011 14:17 Re: site down? [Re: 99wazza]
Kman Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 03/02/2011
Posts: 3
Loc: Brisbane
I don't think the problem this time would have been too many people posting (regardless of whether or not the posts were of valid information), moreover the problem was that so many people were accessing the site and refreshing the thread at one time. The server would have had a certain threshold and this was obviously exceeded.
I do not disagree that limiting content from each user / hour etc would provide better information for all forum users to digest.

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#955005 - 03/02/2011 14:19 Re: site down? [Re: Island viewer]
weather stalker Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 12/01/2011
Posts: 240
Loc: Sarina, QLD
I have lurked for a while now but decided to join when I had questions about TC ANthony.

As a new member I certainly had my fair share of questions to ask for sure, otherwise I would have remained an onlooker, when someone asked how the weather was in my area, I was happy to answer them.

Until yesterday I found the forum a wonderful place for information, people willing to help you learn and very quickly it became obvious who the members were with enough knowledge and experience to take heed of what they were saying.

However as everyone has noted yesterday things seem to go down hill. People got very narky, I'm sure a lot of the horrible comments and useless ones were trolls, but that wasn't ALL of them, some were coming from genuine members.

I do believe it should be mandatory to supply a location on your profile, not sure how this can be 'policed' as being correct, but I did notice that most of the 'crap' being posted came from people without locations and when asked they didn't divulge.

It's really sad that there are people that make up part of the human race that are like this but clearly there are. The guessing competition of land fall and the ensuing 'point' scoring that was ensued with the 'I told you that yesterday' crap is childish and I if they are adults they should be appalled at their own behaviour.

The suggestion of a 'thumb up/down' system is awesome, this weeds a lot of crap off other general forums I use, if you choose to look you can but it is hidden after so many thumbs down.

The limit on posts per x(time frame) is not a bad idea, but if you are having a discussion with one or members in regards to something it can sometimes require more than say 3 posts an hour.... just something to keep in mind.

For those that were very helpful in my first experience as a participating member of the forum thanks.... it wasn't all bad!
_________________________
Aleesha

Avid weather stalker, so much to learn

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#955023 - 03/02/2011 14:33 Re: site down? [Re: weather stalker]
weather stalker Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 12/01/2011
Posts: 240
Loc: Sarina, QLD
Also can I just add, on another forum I am a member of we have a 'thanks' button on each thread, this allows a member to acknowledge the usefullness of the post and appreciation for the time the other member took, without adding an unnecessary oneliner saying 'thanks'.
_________________________
Aleesha

Avid weather stalker, so much to learn

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#955027 - 03/02/2011 14:42 Re: site down? [Re: weather stalker]
stormboy70 Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 01/02/2011
Posts: 11
Loc: Moorooka Qld
I have been reading these forums for over five years and almost never post as I did not feel I had anything useful to contribute.

I realise some of the newer members are under the age of 21 and are of the facebook/twitter generation and have a very different idea of how the internet is used. I feel some of this may contribute to the clashes we are seeing on this site. Since the media blitz which followed the Brisbane Floods many new people discovered this site. I understand from many of the young people (I am an old man at 41) that they only believe what is on the internet and are very skeptical of the mainstream media. My point is that many younger members and a few older ones have little respect for others opinion unless they know who they are. I notice much snapping and shortness with long term members as they did not have the trust cred young people seem to need.

Having said that I did notice a few older members being rude or short and I just think the older members tend to be weather enthusiasts and less tolerant of new blood until they prove themselves. Hence a bit of a generation and experience clash. The older guys have to note they will not have the respect of the newer members until they prove they know what they are talking about. The new members will not have the respect of the older guys until they prove themselves (less arguementative etc). It is going to take time and a little bit of tolerance on both sides.

I hope that trolling, something I loathe, on many other sites I go to is not going to become an issue on this site, however it seems this is the future of all websites.

Lecture over you may go now.
_________________________
D1

Not the first but definitely the best.

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#955048 - 03/02/2011 15:02 Re: site down? [Re: stormboy70]
Jax Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 16/12/2009
Posts: 744
I'm not technically minded at all, so can someone please explain why the rest of the WZ was working perfectly after the forum crashed - is the forum hosted separately to the rest of the site?

Two suggestions: maybe a compulsory "forum etiquette" thread for new users that is linked to a prior cyclone event that shows the usual standard of input in the forum, i.e., calm, respectful and informative content.

Maybe a message clearly displayed on each page reminding people that if they have nothing useful to contribute that lurking is the best option to enhance ease of information gathering for those who need it . I noticed similar comments being regularly posted in threads by both mods and regulars in the past few days, but they were quickly lost.

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#955051 - 03/02/2011 15:04 Re: site down? [Re: weather stalker]
BowKat Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 03/02/2011
Posts: 1
Loc: Mackay, QLD
As a long time lurker, and after spending a lot of time observing the forum especially in the last week or so, I would just like to contribute to this discussion.

I, too, do not agree with limiting posts from newly registered members. Not only does it appear a little elitist, it does not give the members a voice, which is the whole purpose of a forum.

I do agree with many of the suggestions for improvement, though, such as giving well "qualified" and experienced members a special status. This might be given at the choice of the moderators and/or by private poll of selected members. Just a thought. It is such a shame that such knowledgeable and valuable contributors have started to find the forum too irksome to continuing passing on their advice.

Yes, definitely need to split the large threads - filtering through 300 pages of posts (on default setting) is just something people won't do so, of course, repetitive questions will be asked. Maybe "sticky" posts at the top of each new thread page with links to bom website, relative radars, mtsat or other relevant thread info might help. The use of hyperlinks in the forum has been really handy.

I found when the Cardwell - Bowen and Cardwell and north threads were set up, posts were a lot more easier to read - leaving a lot of the rubbish in the general chat area. So that was great.

Reporting abuse, consistent bickering etc to the mods rather than joining in the bickering is probably the best system. The thumbs up & down idea is great, too. Having filters to allow the most popular posts to be viewed/sorted/toggled first might be good.

The last couple of days were quite emotion-fueled as is expected from such a spectacular event in our weather history. It's not something that happens everyday and this forum supply a lot of wonderful information for people in their time of need and fear. That is something to be really proud of! It wasn't only new post-ers that got caught up in it all - some experienced weather watchers did, too. It's just human nature.

Moderators did a great job. Some of them, too, would have had to prepare their own homes and families for this cyclone.

Overall, though, this forum was an awesome array of knowledge and information. Many important websites crashed under the circumstances of heavy usage. I guess just trying to filter the 'rubbish' posts to chat-kind of threads is the best option. It's such a hard balance and we don't want to be over-moderated.

I really enjoyed hearing from you all and look forward to hearing from everyone who experienced this cyclone firsthand in the coming days.

Sorry, if I've mentioned a lot of things that others have posted. It took me such a long time to write this smile

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#955061 - 03/02/2011 15:19 Re: site down? [Re: BowKat]
Blondie72 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/03/2010
Posts: 197
Loc: Between Marian and Mirani
I also am a new member, joining when concerned that Ului was coming our way, I found the ability to ask stupid questions, such as "when will this end" and have them answered by one of the long time members or weather enthusists, such a valuable thing. I think its a shame that the thread for yasi turned into a personal insult thread for some people. Most people, do also use BOM's information and warnings and the ABC radio as well,I think most of us were well enough informed to know it wasn't going to do a sharp turn and head for yepoon and such. I know for myself, I love having the access to the learned people on here to help me with questions, and to learn more about severe weather systems that could possibly impact on my area of the country. Really, keep up the good work everyone.

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#955067 - 03/02/2011 15:24 Re: site down? [Re: BowKat]
flash999 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 31/12/2005
Posts: 140
Loc: Sydney
Just like BowKat ... I've been a lurker member on the forums for a few years now. Also spend quite a bit of time lurking on other large forums here and there.

I've found that information is lot more palatable in smaller chunks. Having a General thread to cover large events is a one way ticket to disaster imho.

Much better to have a number of smaller focused threads. The system permits users to watch multiple threads at once. This makes everything a lot more manageable for Moderators and users while confining the spread of superfluous riff-raff. Most can't be bothered posting the same thing to many threads and in any case cross-posting can be banned to prevent such things.

For example, in the case of TC Yasi event, someone living in Townsville might focus on a Townsville thread. Out of interest, they may keep an eye on a Cairns thread, or one or two other threads of nearby locations, but they are unlikely to post to these threads. Others, who are interested in what is going on in Townsville might post q's on the Townsville thread, and they can be answered by locals who have focus.

Anyone making predictions (unsubstantiated or otherwise) about Townsville will most probably head for the Townsville thread. If they post a Townsville related prediction on the Cairns thread, it can be instantly Moderated etc.

The key to smooth info flow is to make the info relevant and to permit the user of the info to filter it with a large degree of discrimination.

On most internet forums, this is easily handled by using multiple threads.


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#955069 - 03/02/2011 15:26 Re: site down? [Re: BowKat]
pkgjmg Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 01/01/2009
Posts: 2955
Loc: Mt Warren Park
all very suggestions - now let's hope that WZ have a meeting and put some into place ! grin
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** sunshine and lollipops and rainbows every where **

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#955076 - 03/02/2011 15:32 Re: site down? [Re: flash999]
windjammer Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 31/08/2006
Posts: 948
Loc: Nowra, NSW
Good ideas there, I think, flash999, especially breaking the threads down into smaller, geographically based more managable chunks.

I also have noticed people cross-posting to multiple threads (in some forums this is considered spamming and is banned)

Bowcat mentioned stickies...maybe we could have a FAQ sticky pertinent to the current thread to cut back on the amount of repetitive questions?

Someone else mentioned that the problem may well have not been the volume of posts but the sheer load of people refreshing their pages at once. If this is the case, is there a simple solution? (I'm tech retarded)


Edited by windjammer (03/02/2011 15:34)

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#955079 - 03/02/2011 15:34 Re: site down? [Re: Blondie72]
jocelyn Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 22/01/2011
Posts: 90
Lurking Newbie reporting in.

I love the idea of the "thumbs up/thumbs down" thing, especially if too many negative votes minimises the window - lets all users give feedback without having to say anything.

The only other suggestions I can make would be:

1. Side links to other related/newly created threads. Because of the volume of posts, it can be easy to miss the "Just created a thread for *airborne cows* (or whatever) here" posts, so people keep posting for a while on that topic. Maybe whenever a thread is referenced in a post, it could automatically pop up on a floating list to the right - thus posters would have a good idea of active threads. (No idea of the technical side of it though.)

2. Join Facebook.
If you can't beat them, join them. I love loitering here to read amazing factual info and links to maps etc, as posted in the tech threads. I feel it helps me understand. But lots of people like to auto-respond to everything they see (like *liking.*) If "weatherzone" had a well publicised facebook page, plugged prominently on the home page, most people would probably just *like* the facebook page and make all the inane comments there. The mods could have access to the log in page, thus posting occasional information they deem interesting, and the plebs could reply themselves silly (much as we see on Qld Police's facebook.) I honestly think a lot of people would just hang out on facebook if they had the option of interacting there. Thus preserving forums for people who want a good read.

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#955087 - 03/02/2011 15:40 Re: site down? [Re: pkgjmg]
!SCHUMMY! Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 22/04/2008
Posts: 2915
Loc: Jimboomba, SEQ
I'll elaborate more on the time restrictions a bit more as more comes to my mind....

Maybe only have time restrictions in these sort of events (Cyclone/Flood) and during any other time the restriction can be lifted to allow normal discussion. Just something to think about. The restriction would only be in place for that specific thread not the entire site, I don't know if thats possible but could be looked into.

Another thing that has come to mind is that the "Tropical & Central Australia" thread covers such a vast area (half the country). Maybe this could be slip up, have a tropic thread for each state (WA/NT/QLD) and one separate one for Central Australia. At any one time there are at least 10 different threads running within the tropics. This also could slow down server load because everyone is focussed on the one section which covers half the country.

It is also very overwhelming for the new members seeing all of these threads and not knowing where to post and where to go to look for information.

One last thing that was mentioned before, limit new registrations. Before a major event is about to unfold (maybe 1-3 days) people can join but not get approved until after the event has passed.

And I love the idea of a "Thumb Up/Down, Thanks" button.

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#955101 - 03/02/2011 15:51 Re: site down? [Re: !SCHUMMY!]
Sherdz Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 17/09/2009
Posts: 82
Loc: West Warwick QLD
My two bobs worth...

1. Great idea being able to easily identify qualified / experienced experts, not only weather experts, but also other callings such as engineering etc.
2. Would it be possible to put post / time limits on specific threads only, so that the restrictions are only on the critical threads?
3. I agree that it is difficult to find specific info in one huge thread, it would be better split into multiple, more focussed threads.
4. Thumb up/down, button a great idea.
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http://westwarwickweather.com.au

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#955142 - 03/02/2011 16:25 Re: site down? [Re: Sherdz]
jocelyn Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 22/01/2011
Posts: 90
Facebook elaboration.

I only just realised weatherzone has a facebook "app" - apparently the icon is hidden waaaay down the bottom of the home page.... where as the "forum" button is right in the top right corner. I went and had a look at the WZ fb, and note it's not really frequently updated, thus didn't fill the niche that these forums did last night.

The best example of a model that worked, I'd suggest "Cyclone Yasi Update," which is where I went to watch when wz went down. It was run by multiple people, updated constantly and people keep commenting. I think it went from 0 to 60 000+ people in 48hrs?

I realise one facebook for everything might be too overwhelming, but maybe fb pages could be created in response to big weather events.
eg) "weatherzone Brisbane Floods" or "Weatherzone cyclone Yasi"

If you put a nice big button to the "Weatherzone crisis of the moment" fb page in the top right, it would draw people straight there.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not stupidly pro-facebook, and I don't for a second want the forums replaced by facebook. But I just think it's the perfect way to guide people without much to contribute away from the forums, especially in times of major events, thus preserving sanity of forum members and the health of weatherzone servers. Think of it as "trojan facebook"... except you put all the troublemakers inside the wooden horse and push it out of the city.

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#955202 - 03/02/2011 17:52 Re: site down? [Re: jocelyn]
Arnost Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 10/02/2007
Posts: 3909
If the moderators are going to have think about this - then if I may...

The open thread should be left exactly as it is. Whilst it does contain a lot of dross, it allows people to post up observations, ask questions, make comments, indulge in a bit of humour and - probably most importantly - prevent the "technical thread" to get clogged up with this.

Let's face reality... whenever there is a significant event there will be hundreds (if not thousands) people viewing and hundreds contributing. Given the positive media coverage that "Weatherzone" as a brand is recently getting (kudos to the mets and experts here!), this will only increase. And you can't disenfranchise the newbies - it is actually a responsibility to make them welcome and eventually even to "educate them".

So you will inevitably have fun "general" threads which will be nigh on impossible to moderate.

But you also will have the serious "technical thread". And this one should be much easier to moderate. The rules there should be such that factual / supported content only allowed - with limmited chat. And any breach can be quickly corrected... a post can be reported and actioned by the mods quickly.

Soon people will learn that unless it is the tech thread - then any opinions / predictions etc are "amateur" and should be taken with a grain of salt.

It'll be a win win for all... So please, no knee-jerk reactions like banning newbies from posting etc.

my two bits...
_________________________
“No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise” ...

And this of course applies to scientific principles. Never compromise these. Never! [Follow the science and you will be shown correct in the end...]

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