Canaries In A Mine

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Len Backus, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Please bear with me in reading some important news about upcoming features here on this site.

    A hundred years ago miners would take a caged canary down with them into the depths of the mine. There the canary would act as an early warning system in monitoring air quality. In those early days, miners had to worry about suffocating due to lack of sufficient oxygen. If the canary fell off its perch in the cage, it was time for the miners to get the heck out of there quick.

    There have been a lot of changes on this site recently. Change can sometimes be hard to swallow. And sometimes change turns out not to be so good. So recently I emailed a dozen somewhat representative members asking them, as my early warning system, if there were any big, festering problems I didn't know about on the site.

    I got a bunch of kudos and a few suggestions for improvement...which I will work hard on, and no notice of festering problems.

    This site means a lot to me. I spend tons of time working on it for totally selfish reasons...because it is fun for me and because you guys are fun to be around. Please let me know if you have suggestions to make the site better.

    One of my email "Canaries" said
    Well, here are some facts. We are posting almost twice as often as back in September and October.

    [​IMG]

    Yesterday we had 23 new members sign up. We won't average that each day but if we did our membership would double in just over one year! Please take time to welcome the new guys over at the new Member Introductions Forum. If any of you want to act as ambassadors, I could set you up to receive an email whenever a new thread was started there. PM me if that interests you.

    Here is a graph showing the trend in new memberships.

    [​IMG]

    In the last month we had nearly 100,000 site visits. We had 920,000 page views.

    Another canary (this macho guy will resent being likened to a pretty little bird) said:

    My goal is to keep improving this as the best long range hunting site in the known universe. But hey, you guys already have lots of other interests as evidenced by how quickly you have embraced some of these new forums. So I plan to continue broadening the offerings here. At the same time, if a new one doesn't end up making sense...I'll amputate it!

    I have other plans. Video is going to be huge on outdoor sites and I hope to soon have a way to embed Youtube videos right in a post. I know that right now we can insert a link to a Youtube video, but clicking on that takes you off this site to Youtube.com where you might be forced to watch Britney Spears performing one of her latest "stupid celebrity tricks". Instead, after inserting into your post a link to your hunting video (hosted on Youtube), a video viewing window with "PLAY" button arrow and thumbnail would appear right in the post. When clicking on and watching this video, the rest of the post and thread would stay right there on the monitor's screen.

    A photo gallery for still images is something I've thought a lot about, too. But I can't figure out how important it is to you guys...or how much it would actually be used??? The forums with galleries I've seen have fewer comments showing up in the gallery than the number of comments that show up when we have pictures in our posts. Any thoughts on this? Have you seen a forum with a gallery that you particularly like? Are galleries really too remote from the rest of the forum?

    I am planning a "Review" section where writers would submit detailed reviews, with photos, on specific products. The quality of these reviews would be on a par with that of the Stories and Articles we now have.

    And I am also thinking about adding.... Whoops, I better not talk about that yet! light bulb
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2008
  2. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    First off I'd like to say thanks for starting and maintaining a great site , Their are lots of great guys willing to share tons of usefull knowledge here as well as several great rifle builders.

    Thanks again Len.

    Just to be honest I'm not wearing any socks right now but since this seemed to be an mandatory meeting I hope that their won't be any problems this time:D
     

  3. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    Len,
    I've been coming here a pretty long while now and it is truely getting better. Life is about changes. For me this site is somewhat of a refuge from all the cares of the world, just like hunting in any form. I enjoy the great information and the camaraderie. Thanks for your time and efforts. JohnnyK.
     
  4. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    James

    You are excused...this time!
     
  5. JP Hunter

    JP Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Good Job !!

    I just wanted to say thank you for all your hard work. This is the first forum I have belonged to. All the information is wonderful, I can see why so many people are joining.
    About the pictures , I think it would be a good idea.
    Thanks!!
    Joe
     
  6. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    Len, I want to say thanks for the wonderful site. I would also like to thank many of the members for their absolute wealth of knowledge and friendly attitude towards others. I live in Central Mn and Long range shooting isn't as popular here as it is in the south and west so there are only a few places I can go to get good information. This is definately one of the best!
     
  7. HeskethPritchard

    HeskethPritchard Well-Known Member

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    Len

    This is such a good site my missus thinks you and I are lovers :eek: Now this don't mean we are gonna start taking hot soapy showers together :D

    But its a great site, it has good guys and I am getting the confidence to reach out thanks to your site and the support of the people here. Keep it up and long may you be the creator of something exceptionally good in what is at times, a real shitty world.

    All the best from Blighty

    HP
     
  8. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    Too many members degrade a hunting site. Esp one that's focussed like this. Soon we'll see extended posts about bowhunting, musky fishing, baking cookies, and kids cold medicines. I belong to only 5 other hunting forums, most are generic hunting so the posts range from really great to 'who here hunts turkeys' type of crap. I have to sort thru the kids,cold,s cookies posts to get the meat of what I want to read up on.

    I think you have a great focussed site here Len, and unless its your primary source of income I wouldnt make it into a mass appeal type of thing. The site works well, they members are technicallly proficient, and the forum posts are for the most part very engaging. I guess one could not ask for more. The admin messages when we log on are a pain in the rear, but I will admit it is info we need, as informed participators, to know.

    Good luck. Keep it technical and focussed. Dont try to do too much for us as members. Perhaps when you feel comfy with your fine tuning you could let it run on auto and see what items we b.tch about, and respond and fine tune to that.

    Again its a great place and I am glad to be here.
     
  9. BHP9

    BHP9 Well-Known Member

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    Len, I think the changes that have been made since I've been a member have been good, well except for the colum n on the right of the page, but if that's all I have to criticise then that's not too bad.

    Thanks for your time and hard work.
     
  10. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, scratch my idea about adding a Kid's Medicine forum. That's the secret idea I was referring to above. Darn...

    Although, could we add the Kid's Medicine forum and then make it an option to read it?

    And we could all demonstrate bold thinking by posting the "Who hunts turkeys" question in the new "Turkey" forum. And not require non-turkey hunters to read that forum at all.

    And when we get too many members we could vote some members off the island. :D
     
  11. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    As I said this is a GREAT place :)

    Good job Len.
     
  12. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

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    Another way to look at the number of members of this site............

    If all we had was 10,000 members, and never got any more, in time there would only be about 10 members participating. It's just the nature of the beast. They come and they go but those that actively post and participate are small compared to the total members. Some never post, just read. Although that may sound bad, at least we accumulate data that is available to everyone. I for one would rather have them read the "good stuff" here than never read it anywhere at all.

    Look at the members list and see where the first member with one post is. What we need to do is to encourage people to post, show pictures of their guns and hunting trips. We can't be satisfied with status quo or pretty soon we will be talking to ourselves

    Unfortunately there is no filter we can apply so that only those posts we are interested in, and those that meet out interest criteria, show up. We can however, only go to the forums we choose and only read the posts that we are interested in.:rolleyes:

    I would rather get to pick and choose between 100 posts each day than to only have 2 available every day or two.:)

    Keep up the good work Len, just don't let the 16 year old drive to often.;)
     
  13. sjadventures

    sjadventures Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately I don't get to visit as much as I would like but from what I have seen you have and are doing a great job. Great site.
     
  14. long action

    long action Well-Known Member

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    There are no long range hunters around here. Until I found this site I was spending lots of money, and making a lot of mistakes.

    I don't post much. Not to many people interested in long range hog hunting, and the people around here think I am nuts for buying $1500 scopes.

    Every time I have asked a question I have had plenty of knowledgeable answers. What more could a red neck hog hunter ask for?.