MANXATHLETICS.INFO – THE NEW FORUM
The chat starts here
The new forum is now available. Although you will be able to link from the menu here, if you wish, you will also be able to access it directly via manxathletics.info
Unlike the old forum you will have to register to use it. Registration only takes a minute and you need to provide a username, email address and password. Although the software won’t force you to use your real name, I will. So please use your normal forename and surname to register.
Once you have registered you will find the power of the forum to be almost limitless. You can edit your personal settings and for example, add information about yourself, if you would like to, and choose whether you want other people to be able to send messages directly to you. You will have your own database containing the history of your own contributions.
In fact the best way to learn about the forum is to start using it and begin a few discussions. One thing I have encouraged for the past few years is for everyone to use the forum to share information and not to wait for me to publish something. I can pick up on stories and add features when I have the time or the inclination. My features are not intended to rank the performances but merely to add a variety of interest. In other words, I might not chose to publish a feature on something that you consider to be outstanding, particularly if the athlete has featured lots of times before – that can be your job to report and add to the comments of others.
The site where the forum sits is hosted by an American company called hostmonster.com and in technical terms is entirely separate from the manxathletics.com site. This is hosted by a German company oneandone.com . If ever the service is suspended by one company you will be able to find out what is happening on the other. So, if for some reason the manxathletics.com site is "down" you can go to manxathletics.info for an update.
The hosting package from hostmonster.com is very comprehensive and includes a number of "Open Source Scripts". What this means in ordinary language, is that I can use a number of programs that are made available (without fees) that are developed by a sort of club of developers. I can then edit the settings to my own liking. The first script that I have used is called PhpBB and this runs the forum
There are all sorts of other scripts available to me and I hope to use them on manxathletics.info, although the forum will remain the home page. These include ones to run photo galleries, as an alternative to using sites such as Fotopic. I would also love to publish some of my databases in a form that you can interrogate (search and refine), as with the results on iomnac.co.uk
Returning to the forum itself, I have all sorts of powers to change the settings, design groups, set up group leaders etc but I have chosen to make it available earlier than planned because I decided that it is only by getting some data (your comments) that I will really be able to try out the full power.
Remember that whenever you learn something new you have to take a couple of steps back before you can leap forward – so do spend a little time reading the extensive user information and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). I can assure you that I will have spent more time getting this far than you will have done creating an account and trying it out. If you really must say what you liked about the old forum that you do not think is available on the new one, start a "wish list thread" and over time I’ll see what I can do for you.
As always, the choice of topic is yours. Its always nice to give praise to performances and thanks to people who contribute to the sport. Most people also accept constructive criticism but do try not to be offensive.
manxathletics.com is 9 years old in December and although, as stated above, manxathletics.info is technically a separate site, I think (once you are used to the new forum) you will see it as one of the landmarks. The main site has continued to attract more and more visitors with an average of 263 people every day of this year. The club sites continue to develop and improve and should remain the main source of information on any particular event. This year has also been a significant one for local websites with the launch of iomaa.info . At last Manx records and track and field statistics have a central home. On the graphical side, I need to update the list of photo sites because some of them seem to be redundant. Although there are other options, I shall continue to use youtube.com for my videos because of the possibility of using music for soundtrack. If anyone else is thinking of making any videos, there is a local option with manxtube.com
That’s all for now. Continue to enjoy the sport (or welcome to it if you are new) and I hope that the forum will be part of that "experience", to use the word that banks and shops like to use!
7 September 2009
PS The problems with the old forum during the past few months have driven me crazy with all parties denying responsibility. To the best of my knowledge, the service was always available outside of the Isle of Man and by users (usually large organisations) with fixed "IP addresses".
PPS I shall continue to keep you as informed as I can via the blog at the foot of the home page. I have avoided saying too much about the forum in recent weeks for fear of adding to my own pressures but generally I try to tell you why or why I will not be putting things on the site. Having said that, I remain sensitive to people who say "why don’t you do this" or why haven’t you written about so and so". If you take the time to learn about the new forum, you will find that you now have more opportunities than ever before to contribute to the site by adding links, photos and comment.