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Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:55 pm
by mickeyduck
I've already done a LOT of mods to it Michael for the sake of this forum's functionality but I agree because mods eventually get broken thanks to updates anyway.

I simply need to sort some email functionality to tie into the club's needs. Namely for the various email addresses used for AGM duties etc, and especially for the forum's join-up functionality.

I am tempted however to see if I can mod the forum to enable the joinup emails but disable the rest of the email functionality, as that would basically make it utterly proof to this kind of issue, which has been a constant battle forever basically, and gets more difficult every year...

Mark (flying_wedge) I do understand and appreciate what you've said too mate. My mail server has been trucking along just fine for years, but I fully agree it's time for it to be replaced by something that the club can simply pay for and use without fuss. I've spent so much time trying to keep this club going on as little money as possible, I really just need to change my mind-set I guess and accept it's time for it to stand on its own two feet. I was going to sort this anyway as part of the handover of all the webmaster stuff but it seems to have hastened itself a little.

And you're right my server isn't yet blacklisted (and therefore non functional) but it has been flagged as you say, on Spark's own SPAM list. Which I know from experience is one very small step away from being blacklisted and finding yourself in a true nightmare situation (been there thanks to this same stuff some years ago). As I found out back then, Spark's view of things gets taken onboard by the likes of Yahoo etc so a small problem very quickly becomes a huge one.

Anyway that's why I had no choice but to disable the forum's ability to use my mail server for the mo, while I sort out an alternative. Otherwise the email addresses used for the AGM correspondence would also cease to function, along with a number of other addresses for other outfits also hosted on my mail server (as favours for friends and family). It didn't used to be here at home either BTW until I had to change jobs a wee while ago...

And don't confuse this mail server bizzo with the forum itself, which once was on my own box but has been on Rackspace for a few years now. Costs a bit but being able to pass it on sometime was part of the idea, and the email functionality simply has to go likewise.

Anyway I'll take a deep breath, look into things and the club will carry on just fine as usual, I'm sure. Thanks guys. 8)

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:50 pm
by mickeyduck
Well one club member has contacted me after discovering he can't log in to the forum anymore. Now that I've been able to sort his email address he's all good again. 8)

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:17 pm
by Mr Shiny
mickeyduck wrote:Well one club member has contacted me after discovering he can't log in to the forum anymore. Now that I've been able to sort his email address he's all good again. 8)

Yeah, really sorry Charlie, I'll put my hand up & admit my stuff up! Probably the one email address I overlooked at changing when I left my job.

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:59 pm
by mickeyduck
Easy to forget to update your email address Brae - happy to have heard from you so I could fix it mate. :D

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:51 pm
by ClanFever
Sorry, a little late to the ball regarding that email issue - bloody Spark has been causing us issues at work with some of our clients emails being marked as spam as well. Xtra was starting to receive a whole bunch of junk (I believe because all the emails are on the internet somewhere, because of the ancient Yahoo hack years ago) - so they stepped up their junk filtering far too heavily... can't wait to see it disappear if I'm honest, it can go down in infamy with the Vodafone emails.

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:53 pm
by Ginny'sRedRacer
Hi Charlie

sorry to hear about the email problem, third time!!?? sheesh!
That sux! Thanx for all your hard work for us all


Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:26 pm
by optional
Hi Charlie,
hey I knew you put a huge amount into the club and this just proves it. I have to admit that I would have no idea where to start in solving that. I am starting to wonder if standing as your successor was such a good idea! Just kidding mate, I am sure that michael will be capable and I also have two other offers of help in that area.
Olaf has also offered to stand as V.P. if there is not already a better candidate. However I understand that CJ is happy to remain in that role and I am all for some continuity. I have even had a offer as a potential Treasurer. Gary Esler has said that he is happy to help in that role as he has some spare time now. I don't know if there is any other candidates for that role.
As regards the hosting of the website, I am quite prepared to propose that the club pay for this. It does not seem fair that it should fall on you, or any other club member, to supply the hardware, time and expertise, not to mention the responsibility of providing this for free. This may mean that we have to re-instate a small annual membership fee. If that is what it takes then so be it.

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:11 pm
by PhotonBeams
Ditto - it is not like we are short of funds and Charlie, I am not happy about you being out of pocket so much. Typical though - technology always goes t*** up for some reason right when you really need it :evil:

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:43 pm
by mickeyduck
With the income the club has now plus the money in the bank, things could keep going for another decade or more no problem with wise management Keith. I don't think there's any need to reinstate an annual membership fee mate unless you intend on spending a heap more than we have been. Entirely up to the next President and Committee of course... :)

Reinstating the payments to the hosting provider (currently me but soon to be Michael, a student) to the amount agreed upon at the last AGM would be a good thing so I have asked Heather to see to it. I reduced the payments to an amount below what it actually costs but with Michael taking over it needs to be realistic for him to maintain.

As for anyone offering to take over as webmaster Keith, the thing is a bit more time consuming and technical than one might imagine and while I may be bowing out I do still care a great deal about this little club that I've invested so much of myself in. Which is why I am very particular that whoever takes it on is in fact going to be capable of the job. And face it, I am the only one who actually understands what is involved in keeping it going.

I took on the webmaster role because the club's web presence was about to disappear entirely, with the Wellington Community Servers shutting down their free hosting. What effect might that have had? :shock: So it's a bit of a passion of mine I guess, ensuring that aspect of the club is all good.

I intend to work with Michael to ensure the longevity of the forum is in safe hands. He has the heart for it and I intend to ensure it's all good before I fully let go of that which was entrusted to me. The forum is too pivotal to this club to do any less.

Great to hear you have a crew lined up for the next Committee Keith. The Treasurer's role is of course pivotal, as is the President's direction of how to use the club's money. I'd like to see some invested in advertising to grow the membership. But again that kind of thing will be up to the next President. :)

The Membership Officer's job is a big factor as failing to do what is expected will annoy people the minute they have joined the club. Which isn't cool. Not in this day and age of social media etc... Unfortunately it takes up some time (nowhere near as much as the webmaster's job, but it'd be the next most time consuming role, maybe 1/4 of the time by comparison if that). And it's always been a challenge to keep someone doing the job for a full 12 months. Sure hope you have someone dedicated lined up for it mate.

Anyway I'll do what I can to ensure a solid handover of my webmaster duties to the next admin, rest assured. As I said I've invested far too much of my time and money in the job to treat it lightly now.

All the best to the next President, Committee and to the future of this great little club of which I am so proud. :D

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:27 pm
by mickeyduck
Well it's just been put to me by way of a post in the Committee section of the forum that the next President may have other folk lined up for the role of webmaster. I guess we'll have to see where that goes...

On another note, here's an interesting bit of info for you.

If you think the club has suffered because of the internet (why join these days as you can get all your info for your classic car for nothing thanks to the internet, right?) I would counter that the club's internet presence is now the backbone of the club as it provides the majority of our new join-ups. Embrace change. Make a friend of your enemy. I'm sure there's some statement in The Art Of War that sums up what I'm trying to say here.

That's why we have Rides threads and welcome non members to participate on our forum, and ask or answer technical questions. It adds to the fact that our club's internet presence is a draw-card to help people find us. And hopefully join. Many do.

Don't believe it works that way? Try some stats.

Of the club's current 233 financial members, 146 (the majority) stated why they joined the club.
98 joined because of a search engine like Google (they found our club through the internet).
29 joined by referral from a club member.
9 joined by way of referral from another club.
8 joined as a result of attending a club event.
2 joined because of advertising (Tag-a-2 cards perhaps?)
The remainder (87) gave no reason so we have no stats for them. As such their data is basically meaningless and must be excluded.
I know a lot of those people and why they joined and I could offer the opinion that overall they follow the general trend quite well. But if we were to go with my opinion (or anyone else's) that would be questionable as they had not provided the data themselves. So we must discount those who offered no reason for joining the club.

If you look at the sample of club membership for which we do have stats (146 financial members, the majority) we find ourselves firmly confronted with the fact (not an opinion, it's a fact) that the internet has provided by far the majority of our memberships. Here it is as a pie chart.

The source data is of course directly from the club's membership database and nobody has tampered with it. I'd love to see the club explore new avenues in addition, but we would discount the value of our internet presence at our peril. It's pretty obvious where our membership join-ups generally come from:

memberships-why.png (123.37 KiB) Viewed 2891 times

Anyway I really do hope that whoever does end up appointed to the job of webmaster is in fact both capable and dedicated to the task. For the sake of this club.

I know who I am prepared to work with to make the transition. I also know I can't impart the required skill set to just anyone. We'll just have to see what the next President decides...

Charlie Western.
And because my signature will probably change in another day or two, here it is, for posterity: :lol:

Auckland Area Co-Ordinator since Nov 2009
Webmaster, Forum Host & Admin since Jan 2010
Committee Member since Sept 2009 and MR2OCNZ President since March 2012
Financial Club Member since 2004 and thanks to *84vvt and his co-conspirators, Life Member since April 2017 8)
100+ MR2OCNZ runs and counting... When going hard, good rubber's your best protection against unwanted accidents. Buy good tyres!

AGM tomorrow, the end of an era for me (unless I change my mind). :wink:
All the best, people! :mrgreen:

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:15 am
by mickeyduck
Well we've just had the AGM and I've very happy to announce the appointment of Michael Kemp a.k.a. mknz as the new Webmaster.

I'll be working to transition the role to him over the next wee while, starting with the general administration of the forum.

After that we'll look into things like the Rackspace VM that it sits on, the software stack etc.

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:43 pm
by Curly
Congratulations Michael

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:15 pm
by mknz
Thanks! Someone start a timer, we'll see how long it takes me to break things :P

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:52 pm
by 85AW20v
Charlie already has with his post!! :D

Re: Webmaster's Blog

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:24 am
by Benckj
Good job Michael, we’re all behind you.