The Inevitable Future of Chat: How to Save our Scholarship

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DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

The Inevitable Future of Chat: How to Save our Scholarship

Post by DRN »

Yesterday’s effort to find and nudge a specific thread into current, searchable status led me to think about the structure of the Chat’s format and its future viability...it is close to 20 years old.

It might be a good idea for us to consider how best to identify threads with substantive information, or true scholarship that should be preserved for some means of transfer to new OS or format.

My first thought is the effort we shared to move threads forward to searchable status following the “great outage� a couple of years ago. We may need to earmark threads in some way so that a similar effort could be done again to transfer significant threads to a new platform. For instance, I used the word “keywords� in the posts used to move the individual threads forward...a consistent but uncommonly used word like that might enable threads worth keeping to be culled from the countless threads of little significance. The trouble is, at times there are gems of info buried in seemingly insignificant threads.

Just putting this out there.... I believe we will inevitably need to think about a method to save and carry with us what we have created, formats online don’t last forever.

DavidC
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »

Some good ideas, Dan. In the past when I've spoken to folks at the Conservancy about the possibility of updating the Forum software it always seems to turn on a) the cost, b) the time and, c) the problem of trying to deal with such an outdated system as we are on here, of which makes it exceptionally difficult to try and save anything existing to migrate forward. And, as a result, no action has ever taken place to upgrade.

At some point in the future, our current Forum software will break down to the point of non-usabilty. When that occurs there will be no gathering place - and - all past history will be lost. The Great Outage of 2017 was our warning.

Dan, do you happen to know if there is any current movement - or will - in the Conservancy to improve the Forum situation?


David

Tom
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

If there a new format were proposed
there might be enough interest to do fundraising here among members online

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

It was noted to me by staff at the Conservancy that Chat is on the "to do list" to be updated to a currently serviceable platform. It was acknowledged by the staff member that there is real substance to certain threads in Chat and that they should be archived or otherwise carried forward if feasible. The method is as yet unknown.

My opening salvo for this effort was for us to devise a means to systematically identify the archive worthy information and be able to separate it from the inconsequential chit chat threads so that it might be copied or scanned for archiving or insertion to a new platform. I don't know if the text of the threads can be pulled or saved in Word or PDF format and inserted elsewhere...that is beyond my knowledge base.

At this point, I think it would be wise for us to identify what threads are significant and be able to search and list them easily on a moment's notice.
The Chat search for the term "keywords" pulls up the threads I moved forward a couple of years ago. Do we agree that "keywords" should be posted to each thread we deem valuable and we each think of important threads or topics or whatever, and Google search them using "Wright Chat" + (insert topic or name here), then click on the desired thread and post the word "keywords" plus topical names or other identifiers for the specific thread such as Geiger, Peters , Aaron, etc?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Sounds sensible to me. Perhaps we could get site administration to post this---or a new dedicated---thread, permanently, at the top of the index ?

I guess if we used a topic-identification-and-archiving thread every day, it would stay at the top of the list, a visible reminder of the project . . .

S

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Sounds good to me
I'd certainly support it.

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

One way to get started is for everyone who uses this site who is not a member of FLWBC to join. Then when the program gets underway, we could designate any donation beyond the modest yearly dues to go toward the program.
Last edited by Roderick Grant on Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

SREcklund
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Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Post by SREcklund »

Discussions of format aside. the phpBB software that this forum runs on (albeit a 2005 version) still exists, and still is supported. At the very least, it should be possible to drag the board forward to the current version - and perhaps even retrieve key lost features (I'm thinking thread search and persistent login) along the way.

The Conservancy is literally a 4-person team, so expecting them to find time for this is unlikely. I would support the idea of reaching out to the developers to see just how difficult a process it would be to upgrade the board and database to the current software version, and establishing a fundraising methodology to allow the users to finance the effort.
Docent, Hollyhock House - Hollywood, CA
Humble student of the Master

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Well observed. Although I have no hands-on experience with this, it seems that the easiest (and most desirable ?) change might be to update to the
current phpBB version---rather than moving everything to another platform. "Dragging" might turn out to be an exaggerated description of the process . . .?

Unless, of course, something is "broken." I have engaged with several phpBB fora over the last dozen years, and know that there are options available
that aren't "turned on" here; some of them would enhance our experience, as Stan suggests. (Do platform subscribers pay more for the extra bells and whistles ?)

S

KevinW
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

Post by KevinW »

I find myself spending a fraction of time on this site than I used to. I have found other sites, such as Stan's site on FB to be quite a bit livelier, and much much easier to post photos.

This site, while of great value is kind of like 8-track technology in an iPhone world.
My 2 cents.
KevinW

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Kevin, you are missed; it's good to have some idea of why you're not more often with us. Thanks for that, and do join us when you can.

I haven't visited Stan's site as I'm not on facebook, in part for ideological reasons and also because, after changing my email address, I am apparently no longer welcome there.

Stan's work on behalf of Wright and Wrightians is recognized and appreciated. It's unfortunate that there aren't more options for those wishing to be part of the Wright community ?

S

KevinW
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:41 pm

Post by KevinW »

In the short time Stan's site has been live, it has over 4,400 members. The topics range from newbie posts to expert analysis. I post there frequently, pretty much the whole Beharka house restoration is documented there. I also tend to steer the collective bus off the road when I feel things are getting a bit heavy..
As far as the house, another phase of restoration starts next week. I'll try to get some things posted on here to show the progress.
Thanks
KW
KevinW

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I'll look forward to that---thanks. You live in a special house.

Best---SDR

jay
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

I find myself spending a fraction of time on this site than I used to. I have found other sites, such as Stan's site on FB to be quite a bit livelier, and much much easier to post photos.

This site, while of great value is kind of like 8-track technology in an iPhone world.
I respect what Stan has done with the FB group, and enjoy when the thoughtful regulars like yourself contribute photos and insights. But boy, there's also a lot of noise on that group. Just the other day I read through maybe two dozen complaints of the blue paint on the Carlson House. Not to mention one member who decided to make a tasteless (and just plain dumb) joke about gay people in the Fellowship being responsible for the paint color.

And that's the thing about Facebook, it invites quick and easy commenting. People are glued to that site throughout the day, seemingly just waiting with hair-trigger "quick" comments. It functions for the culture of smartphone users, people who want to read one line texts. FB's template is essentially designed for posting selfies and having a hundred people quickly comment with emojis and 3-word responses.

Bringing any sort of architectural "conversation" to Facebook, in my opinion, feels awkward and abrupt. While Wright Chat has its obvious drawbacks (difficulty posting pictures being numero uno), it still offers so much more in terms of depth of conversation. Additionally, Facebook is an instantaneous platform, in which anything someone posts quickly gets swallowed into the sea of historic nothingness. On Wright Chat, these threads can be added onto for years, creating a wonderful "scholarship" from the Wright community.

My hope is that the Wright Chat figures out its technical issues, and that contributors like yourself become regulars again.... (Or maybe Stan opens up Wright Attitude on its own dedicated site, which might filter out some of the FB noise, while still welcoming a wider-ranging community? I know he's discussed the idea in the past.)

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

FB is the reason I won't bother. Of all the mess online, FB and Twitter are the most vilified, I can only assume with reason.

Perhaps a brief seminar on "How to Post Photographs on WC" could make the process easier for everyone. SDR seems not to have any problem.

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