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jasonlevineMon Jul-24-23 02:02 PM
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"The future of PCQandA"


  

          

Hi all,

As you might have noticed, PCQandA has been very quiet
recently. When we first launched in October 2002, we had close
to 11,000 posts in the Computer Forum and nearly 4,000 posts
in the OT Forum. This past June, however, we had only 12 posts
in the Computer Forum and 2 in the OT Forum. Worse, many (if
not most) of the recent posts appear to be spam. Forums, in
general, have experienced a severe decline - replaced by
social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

Given all that's happening, and the issues we've had with
spammers recently, a decision needs to be made: What happens
with PCQandA in the future?

I might not stop by here as much as I used to, but PCQandA
still holds a place in my heart. Therefore, I really don't
want "shut PCQandA down completely and take it
offline" to be an option. This leaves me with 4 possible
options:

The first option would be to shut down new postings. PCQandA
would still be available as a searchable archive, but nobody
would be able to register or post to it.

The second option would be to shut down new user
registrations. This would stop spammers from making new
accounts to post their links, but it would also mean that
people stumbling across our site looking for computer help
wouldn't be able to get in.

The third option would be to moderate user registrations. This
would mean that I would need to specifically approve every new
member that tries to join. There were 124 new users registered
in 2023 so far. Most of them haven't posted and it appears
that they might have been created for spammy purposes. (Their
profiles contain links that might go to spammy sites.)
Requiring approval would mean more work for me, but I might be
able to separate out some of the spammers before they got a
chance to post.

Lastly, we could migrate to a new forum software. Our current
forum system is old which means that it doesn't have as many
anti-spam features as newer tools. The downside here is that
everyone would need to create new accounts and all of the
current PCQandA posts would need to live in an
"Archives" area. Essentially, we'd be wiping the
slate clean on PCQandA. Perhaps this would let us grow again,
but it could also be a lot of time and effort just for the new
forum to die on the vine.

So I'm asking for your opinions. What do you think we should
do with PCQandA in the future?

- Jason Levine
Please donate to PCQandA!

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: The future of PCQandA
Jul 24th 2023
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RE: The future of PCQandA
Jul 25th 2023
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      RE: The future of PCQandA
Jul 25th 2023
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Jul 26th 2023
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Jul 26th 2023
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Jul 26th 2023
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RE: The future of PCQandA
Jul 24th 2023
2
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Jul 24th 2023
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Jul 24th 2023
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RE: The future of PCQandA
Jul 26th 2023
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RE: The future of PCQandA
Jul 24th 2023
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RE: The future of PCQandA
Jul 24th 2023
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RE: The future of PCQandA
Jul 29th 2023
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Jul 29th 2023
14
RE: The future of PCQandA
Aug 03rd 2023
15
RE: The future of PCQandA
Aug 07th 2023
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RE: The future of PCQandA
Aug 21st 2023
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RE: The future of PCQandA
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RE: The future of PCQandA
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      RE: The future of PCQandA
Sep 14th 2023
20

KJTMon Jul-24-23 03:57 PM
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#1. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)


  

          

Sad to say, I think it is time to shut down PCQandA completely. It has outlived its usefulness as a computer Q and A resource.

To me, we were not replaced by "Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit" but by "Google" (and other search engines). As computer users became more sophisticated, knowledgeable, and experienced PCQandA became old and tired. Why become a member just to ask a question or two that might not get an appropriate answer for days? Google provides answers in seconds - though often enough not totally correct nor in-depth enough answers. Why stay an active member attempting to answer questions whose answers were, often as not, not appreciated, nor acknowledged? Why stay active as a moderator only to remove spam messages? (I wonder which of the moderators are even still alive)

Keeping the archives available would be my second choice though at the moment I can't think of a single instance of a search engine referencing a PCQandA answer. Over the years (2 decades + ) I have contributed, probably significantly, to fund PCQandA. I would not contribute solely to maintain old and outdated records.

PCQandA's time has come and gone. RIP PCQandA.

Now let's see if anyone can convince me otherwise.

Jim.

  

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TtechTue Jul-25-23 10:50 PM
Member since Aug 06th 2002
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#7. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to KJT (Reply # 1)
Tue Jul-25-23 10:54 PM by Ttech

  

          

Quote:
(I wonder which of the moderators are even still alive)


I'm still alive!!! Unless I'm really just AI...

BTW, Jason and I corresponded about this before he posted. My opinion is that, if we keep it alive, we have to offer more content and promote the site to attract new members.

Behind every good computer... is a jumble of wires 'n stuff.

  

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KJTTue Jul-25-23 11:33 PM
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#8. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to Ttech (Reply # 7)


  

          

You're alive! Ai wouldn't have had the patience to deal with all of the spam posts that you have.

Jim.

  

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nightlyreaderWed Jul-26-23 02:06 AM
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#9. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to KJT (Reply # 8)


          

Quote:
QUOTE:
You're alive! Ai wouldn't have had the patience to deal with all of the spam posts that you have.

Jim.

He just reads his email alerts and then deletes the spam. Ask me how I know.

Nightly Reader

  

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KJTWed Jul-26-23 02:28 AM
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#10. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to nightlyreader (Reply # 9)


  

          

OK, how do you know?

Jim.

  

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nightlyreaderWed Jul-26-23 04:52 AM
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#11. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to KJT (Reply # 10)


          

I check in here to Read Nightly.

Nightly Reader

  

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therubeMon Jul-24-23 04:33 PM
Member since Jan 22nd 2003
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#2. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)


  

          

Quote:
we could migrate to a new forum software. Our current forum system is old which means that it doesn't have as many anti-spam features as newer tools.

To me, that does not make any sense at all.
You then have to learn the new forum system. And it is not like these "new blocking tools" are an end-all. You're still going to get spam - no matter what.
And even worse then "spam" is AI. "Spammers" now use AI to "reply" such that their responses are very coherent & on topic.

I linked to an "AI" post here, https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r33713020-Who-else-here-is-paranoid-with-security-stuff. Even the admin (at informaction) didn't realize it, at first (& responded back to AI).

"Blocking spam" is not a valid reason to do or not to do something.

Quote:
There were 124 new users registered in 2023 so far.

In the scheme of things, that is nothing.

(Again at informaction.com, in the day, we would get hundreds of new registrations - a day, with the majority of those being spammers. And we even wrote scripts to zap them in mass. Over time, updates to software, & blocking... & changes to the way & where spammers operate has changed, so there is a lot less now, then there was - in the day, but it still exits & evolves...)

--------------------------------------
BANK OF AMERICA.COM ONLINE BANKING SUCKS IN THE HUGEST WAY IMAGINABLE

Newegg.com's new image gallery layout sucks in the hugest way imaginable too !
And now they're using JavaScript to "turn" pages to boot ! SUCKS

  

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therubeMon Jul-24-23 04:35 PM
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#3. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)


  

          

Quote:
shut down new user registrations. This would stop spammers from making new accounts to post their links, but it would also mean that people stumbling across our site looking for computer help wouldn't be able to get in

So be it.

The board would still exist.
Existing members (however infrequently) would still be able to post...

--------------------------------------
BANK OF AMERICA.COM ONLINE BANKING SUCKS IN THE HUGEST WAY IMAGINABLE

Newegg.com's new image gallery layout sucks in the hugest way imaginable too !
And now they're using JavaScript to "turn" pages to boot ! SUCKS

  

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therubeMon Jul-24-23 04:37 PM
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#4. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)
Mon Jul-24-23 04:47 PM by therube

  

          

Quote:
moderate user registrations. This would mean that I would need to specifically approve every new member that tries to join

You never know, someone could volunteer to handle that duty, so "you" wouldn't have to do it.
Quote:
but I might be able to separate out some of the spammers before they got a chance to post

And then there is that.

--------------------------------------
BANK OF AMERICA.COM ONLINE BANKING SUCKS IN THE HUGEST WAY IMAGINABLE

Newegg.com's new image gallery layout sucks in the hugest way imaginable too !
And now they're using JavaScript to "turn" pages to boot ! SUCKS

  

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jasonlevineWed Jul-26-23 05:01 PM
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#12. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to therube (Reply # 4)


  

          

The problem is that the forum script requires that an administrator manage accounts. The moderators can remove posts, but they can't zap spamming users. So if a spammy user starts posting garbage all over the forums, the moderators can remove the posts and alert me. They can't shut down the user, however.

This goes for approving accounts as well. If a new users requested to join, I would need to approve it. None of the other moderators could because they wouldn't have the appropriate permission levels.

- Jason Levine
Please donate to PCQandA!

  

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therubeMon Jul-24-23 04:43 PM
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#5. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)


  

          

I would certainly like to see PCQandA exist.
Even if in read-only mode.
For historical reasons, if nothing else.
(Though I do reference posts here, to this day.)

Plus, it will show "them" what a real forum is like - contrasted to "social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit" (bla!).

.

--------------------------------------
BANK OF AMERICA.COM ONLINE BANKING SUCKS IN THE HUGEST WAY IMAGINABLE

Newegg.com's new image gallery layout sucks in the hugest way imaginable too !
And now they're using JavaScript to "turn" pages to boot ! SUCKS

  

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therubeMon Jul-24-23 04:45 PM
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#6. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)


  

          

Not sure I'm doing it "correctly", but while pcqanda.com is "on" waybackmachine, I don't seem to be getting anything meaningful out of it? (And while wayback may "help", it's still not the same.)

https://web.archive.org/web/20050801000000*/pcqanda.com

--------------------------------------
BANK OF AMERICA.COM ONLINE BANKING SUCKS IN THE HUGEST WAY IMAGINABLE

Newegg.com's new image gallery layout sucks in the hugest way imaginable too !
And now they're using JavaScript to "turn" pages to boot ! SUCKS

  

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ablibSat Jul-29-23 05:38 AM
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#13. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)


  

          

Third option is the best option, for sure. Even if you ignore new registrations for 7 months, that's only about 120-ish registrations to sift through? If it's like spam emails, it should be quick. I wouldn't want to cut off a means of old members trying to reconnect. I'm specifically thinking of the possibility that old members may attempt to create a new account because they can't remember, or get into, their old one.

I share the same sentimental reasons as you Jason, for why I wouldn't want this site to go dark. From time to time, I get nostalgic and read the old posts. The old banter. And before I know it, hours have passed and it's way past my bedtime.

Good times.

I wouldn't invest any more time than option 3. There's no promoting this place, and a forum upgrade is definitely overkill -- simply because this is a relic of a bygone era, sad to say.

Visit the Basement

  

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lenjackSat Jul-29-23 08:30 PM
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#14. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to ablib (Reply # 13)


          

I have to admit that as far back as about 6 or 7 years ago, I depended on this site for a lot of tech advice, but as time went on, I found I could get better and faster results with BleepingComputer.com, which almost makes me feel like a traitor.

  

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jasonlevineThu Aug-03-23 02:12 AM
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#15. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)


  

          

I've made the first change to help prevent spammers. Previously, people could add a Homepage to their profile. This was useful if you wanted to link to an informative website you ran, but obviously spammers were abusing this. So now the Homepage won't display on the user profile page.

I've also set up the forum so that I need to approve new users. We might still get some spammers as there are a lot of accounts that were set up but which don't have a single post. Some of these might be spammers. If these accounts start posting spam messages, I might mass-disable any account that hasn't posted.

- Jason Levine
Please donate to PCQandA!

  

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randybedoreMon Aug-07-23 04:16 PM
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#16. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)


          

Thank you, Jason, for changes implemented Aug 2nd. Let's return to topic of future of PCQandA at your convenience or desire.

  

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StevehikerMon Aug-21-23 01:42 AM
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#17. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to randybedore (Reply # 16)


          

I'm glad to see PCQ&A is still here. It's been years since I've posted anything. I haven't needed to and most of my computer work has been done on my cell phone

Steve

  

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Paul DThu Sep-07-23 12:02 AM
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#18. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to jasonlevine (Reply # 0)


  

          

I likewise am still kicking, but rarely visit nowadays. Not sure if I still deserve the title of Moderator.



Paul D

  

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nightlyreaderThu Sep-07-23 05:46 AM
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#19. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to Paul D (Reply # 18)


          

QUOTE:
I likewise am still kicking, but rarely visit nowadays. Not sure if I still deserve the title of Moderator.



Paul D


Wondered about you. Good to see a post from you.

Nightly Reader

  

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ablibThu Sep-14-23 10:03 PM
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#20. "RE: The future of PCQandA"
In response to nightlyreader (Reply # 19)
Thu Sep-14-23 10:04 PM by ablib

  

          

Quote:
QUOTE:
QUOTE:
I likewise am still kicking, but rarely visit nowadays. Not sure if I still deserve the title of Moderator.



Paul D


Wondered about you. Good to see a post from you.

Me too! Glad to see you, Paul!

Visit the Basement

  

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