Is the End Nigh?

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Stercutus
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Is the End Nigh?

Post by Stercutus » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:36 am

Anyone who has been a member as long as I have is bound to have noticed there have been some changes around here. The organization has gone from a Charitable organization with ongoing projects that raised money that went to where? To a non-charity organization of what type exactly? Doing what exactly? (The preceding were actual questions BTW, since I don't send money when I don't know where the money goes)

- Most of the founding members are either gone or seldom appear
- No one has really replaced them
- Traffic has dropped to about that of an average half ass blogger
- There is essentially only one mod left doing any moderating, only three that visit much at all and do real work (much appreciated you three for sticking it out)
- Postings have dropped from several hundred a day to several a day
- Board was down for several days after a serious cyber attack and has not been repaired, maybe won't be


So questions:
- Is the End Nigh?
- What kind of organization is this?
- Why no more charity?
- Whose in charge?
- Is there a budget and what does that look like?

I'd be willing to do more. Probably others as well. But without some solid answers.... no.

Other notes:
- Zombies are no longer "a thing"
- Message boards in general seem to be waning
- Unemployment is really, really low and people have things to do with their time other than sit around cruising the net all day
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by woodsghost » Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:56 pm

I have talked and PMed with some rank and file and with some leadership.

In short, I think ZS is going to simply be what we make it. I get the impression there is no intention of shutting it down. Or there was no intention when last I enquired. There are some folks who would be willing to either take over the leadership if it is currently a burden, or start our own forum if this place just shuts down. I was told the leadership does not feel burdoned and there is no plan to shut down. Ok. Well, enquiring minds do wonder about the lack of attention from the leadership with that information as a backdrop.

So I think the leadership is interested in "not closing the doors," but it is up to us what this becomes.
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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by NT2C » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:01 pm

Stercutus wrote: I'd be willing to do more. Probably others as well. But without some solid answers.... no.
I have 13 years experience as the sysadmin of a large forum using this very same system. I have, over the last 5 years or so, repeatedly told the powers that be here that I would be willing to help out around the place, just not to the same degree as when I ran my own system (with the help of 5 other admins and a very large and skilled group of admins). My system was a lot of work, sometimes I lost entire weekends to maintaining and upgrading it and it was not unusual for me to spend 8+ hours on it during a given day. I'm not looking to get into that type of gig again, but I would have no problem at all with doing whatever needed doing on the system for a few hours every other day or so. Every time I've made this offer I've been politely thanked and essentially told, "We'll get back to you." Evidently, they don't want my help, and that's their choice to make, but I can't help but look around at the system and wonder if that's the right choice to make. Letting the site wither and fade away is preferable to offers from the members to help out? :?

I also used to be a paying member here and a member of my local chapter. Then my local chapter got summarily shut down for what I understand was late paperwork (the guy doing it was active duty Navy and got deployed) and pretty much fell apart. They stopped holding meetings and I stopped making the 200-mile round trip to attend them and help out with things like parades and other events, as well as ham radio familiarization.

Then ZS lost their 501 (c)(3) status and their incorporation was canceled so I stopped being a paid member, at least until we got some kind of explanation for this from the folks in charge. Nada. No explanation ever came and the whole thing pretty much got glossed over and never mentioned. I have no problem with contributing to ZS financially, but tell me where the money is going. I'm not helping out buying beers for the powers that be while the site falls apart and they ignore it. Hell, I deliberately skipped buying a lifetime membership when it was offered because I felt that paying the yearly membership fee would help more in the long run. I would have no problem paying that $35, or more, again if I knew what it was being used for.
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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by NT2C » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:04 pm

woodsghost wrote:I have talked and PMed with some rank and file and with some leadership.

In short, I think ZS is going to simply be what we make it. I get the impression there is no intention of shutting it down. Or there was no intention when last I enquired. There are some folks who would be willing to either take over the leadership if it is currently a burden, or start our own forum if this place just shuts down. I was told the leadership does not feel burdoned and there is no plan to shut down. Ok. Well, enquiring minds do wonder about the lack of attention from the leadership with that information as a backdrop.

So I think the leadership is interested in "not closing the doors," but it is up to us what this becomes.
Rather difficult for us to do that with a crippled forum and zero input or help from the ones who are supposed to be in charge.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except sailors. They will kill you and sing songs about it.

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by Stercutus » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:39 pm

KJ4VOV,

That is where I am.

The house is coming down around and someone is in the corner with a paint brush and can of Spackle saying; "I got this". Here it is a Saturday with zero mod response all day I think answers the question does it not?


I was told the leadership does not feel burdened
I don't see how they possibly could be burdened.
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by woodsghost » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:17 pm

Stercutus wrote:
I was told the leadership does not feel burdened
I don't see how they possibly could be burdened.
That was said by someone else when we got the response. I'd like to hear from them and their side if they are monitoring this. In all fairness, somebody got the forum back up and running. So the lights are not out.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by Stercutus » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:39 pm

woodsghost wrote:
Stercutus wrote:
I was told the leadership does not feel burdened
I don't see how they possibly could be burdened.
That was said by someone else when we got the response. I'd like to hear from them and their side if they are monitoring this. In all fairness, somebody got the forum back up and running. So the lights are not out.
Mostly running. I hear the generator miss firing and the light bulbs are burning at 500 lm.

I'd like to get an answer too. But no answer is just as good, if more sad.
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by Halfapint » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:59 pm

Great post Stercutus! I’m sad because I’ve made some great friends through this site. Seeing it dwindle sucks. I’ve looked for other boards all are to political where they turn into a circle jerk of one view (left
Or right),. ZS had something special, if someone decided to make another board let me know I’d love to find one that’s active by leaders and members alike.
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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by moab » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:09 pm

Halfapint wrote:Great post Stercutus! I’m sad because I’ve made some great friends through this site. Seeing it dwindle sucks. I’ve looked for other boards all are to political where they turn into a circle jerk of one view (left
Or right),. ZS had something special, if someone decided to make another board let me know I’d love to find one that’s active by leaders and members alike.
I agree. I've been trying to comment on this post for two days. Couldn't log in. Kept getting an error.

I don't think the leadership - if there is any - understands how near and dear to our heart this place has been over the many years. I wish there was some way we could just notify everyone and start a much better modded board someplace else. Where can work on improving things ourselves. As it's obvious that whomever owns this is not giving it any type of priority.

I don't know why but this forum doesn't attract knuckle heads. And everyone is civil. Regardless of their political leanings. I belong to a lot of forums. and this is number two out of all the ones I belong too. A gun building forum is number one believe it or not. Weapons Guild is run very well. No knuckleheads allowed at all. Just kind people helping each other. Like here. Except here the leadership seems to be absent.

But let me get this straight. Woodghost is a mod and doesn't know who the owner is? Or did I miss something above?

How much is this forum worth? Literally. How much would it sell for?
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by woodsghost » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:30 pm

Moab, I am not a mod :) I have direct and indirect connections to a lot of people. That is all. And I post a lot. :D



I'll also respond to something said earlier. We have a special community, a civil community, and the quality of what is said is generally high. Most likely this is what has contributed to our decline in numbers. Yes, people use message boards less. It was pointed out to me by another member that the Prepping community is moving towards blogs and videos. The community seems to be moving towards seeking expert advice rather than participating in a group. Some of that may be generational and some of that may be time management.

Further, the platforms which do have large numbers of people also have trash content. This signals there is likely a barrier to entry. Those who visit us probably don't feel able to contribute the same quality of content, and so don't participate. They lurke, sure, but don't post. But those people visit other platforms, see a lower quality of contributers, and feel more comfortable. They are not swimming in water over their heads. We have probably contributed to this through peer review of people who visit us and present themselves as "knuckleheads." We get on them quick and either they feel they cannot match us, or they get banned if they are too trollish. High quality comes at the cost of lower participation rates. Which is partially why I think we see a movement towards seeking prepping advice from blogs and YouTube. People want to participate with those on their own level or they want to get expert opinions. Ah...."expert" opinions...there, I fixed it.

Also, seriously, look at the quality of the writing in these posts. Compare that to the quality of writing and thought on Facebook. Look at the litteracy rates in our schools. Quality of writing and quality of thinking has taken a nosedive in our society in the last 20 years. Really, it began long before that. But I think that also plays a part in lower participation rates.

Just MHO.

Also, I bet lower unemployment and an improving economy hurts participation due to lower disposible time. I know this was said above.
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*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by Stercutus » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:40 pm

I don't know why but this forum doesn't attract knuckle heads. And everyone is civil.

Well there is the one. He/she shows up every now and then as Longy/Hoki/Zantra every now and then. I try; but I make asshole comments every now and then too. I do try to be civil when being an asshole :) .

Further, the platforms which do have large numbers of people also have trash content. This signals there is likely a barrier to entry. Those who visit us probably don't feel able to contribute the same quality of content, and so don't participate. They lurk, sure, but don't post. But those people visit other platforms, see a lower quality of contributors, and feel more comfortable. They are not swimming in water over their heads. We have probably contributed to this through peer review of people who visit us and present themselves as "knuckleheads." We get on them quick and either they feel they cannot match us, or they get banned if they are too trollish. High quality comes at the cost of lower participation rates. Which is partially why I think we see a movement towards seeking prepping advice from blogs and YouTube. People want to participate with those on their own level or they want to get expert opinions. Ah...."expert" opinions...there, I fixed it.

This is a good point. I have noticed that the people who do post here are mostly smarter than the average bear. if somebody throws up bullshit it quickly gets shot down. It isn't as though we all agree on everything either. Most around here seem to understand the difference between opinion and fact and respect those boundaries.

Also, seriously, look at the quality of the writing in these posts. Compare that to the quality of writing and thought on Facebook. Look at the litteracy rates in our schools. Quality of writing and quality of thinking has taken a nosedive in our society in the last 20 years. Really, it began long before that. But I think that also plays a part in lower participation rates.
I think what happened is that we had those ignorant people with us all along but they never wrote anything for public consumption. Now they unzip their fly at every opportunity and show what they have. It's ugly down there.

Before the media age (Audio recordings/ video recordings/ radio/ TV) people in the US were supposedly much more literate. Reading a book was one the only forms of entertainment and since most were practicing Christian it was also a sacred requirement. These days reading and writing has reemerged as skill and major form of communication some just aren't ready for it.
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by Dabster » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:47 pm

I'm one of the more (non-troll) moronic posters here and I must say that I would miss the interesting and often fascinating conversations found here. In for updates. If there are updates.
Shiney side out... Shiney side out...

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by Stercutus » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:49 pm

In a related post I do not recommend clicking on DaveM's website icon in his signature box (or going to that website at all) unless your anti-virus is up to do date.
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd—
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by Dabster » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:59 pm

Stercutus wrote:In a related post I do not recommend clicking on DaveM's website icon in his signature box (or going to that website at all) unless your anti-virus is up to do date.
Last visited: Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:59 am

Didn't realize he had been gone that long...
Shiney side out... Shiney side out...

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:00 pm

The shutdown really messed up my computer and phone (I have good anti-virus software, so it was blocking them, but it was working hard blocking all these spam and redirects when the forum was down). But I also noticed that with other forums too, including TheHighRoad. There must have been a big attack on the host server if that is a thing.

I hope this website never goes down. I'm willing to help, but I don't really know how I'd contribute. But this is just my favorite haven on them interwebs.

On a side note, some fun troll action does create some traffic, but I'm worried that in the long term, that drives people away. I also think I found our friend Longy/Zantra/Hoki on a forum BEFORE they came here. I logged onto GreyBeardOutdoors (a forum I haven't used since I had my old job where I sat in an office all day back in '14ish) and was looking at my old posts.

There was a member named "hangup" who was spouting a lot of stuff that we've seen before about .22 conversion kits and knowing everything. Now, I can think that maybe this person followed me here due to battling on the forums as I use the same name for all my forums, but I also think that's me being a narcissist. I just think there is a dude who signs up on random forums to troll and eventually he'll just run the circuit of firearm/outdoor style forums.
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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by flybynight » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:17 pm

I use the same name for all my forums,
That was You? Why you little ... :lol:
As of now I bet you got me wrong

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:58 pm

flybynight wrote:
I use the same name for all my forums,
That was You? Why you little ... :lol:

HAHAHA What I do this time?
They see me trollin', they hatin'.... keyboardin' tryna catch me typin' dirty
Halfapint wrote:There are some exceptions like myself and jeepercreeper.... but we are the forum asshats. We protect our positions with gusto
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Her secondary offense will be nagging.

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by DarkAxel » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:02 pm

I noticed that traffic has been on a downward trend for the past few years, and the number of people posting has dwindled, too. Heck, when we had the last forum fundraiser we didn't get an update on the final totals for almost a year, and when I pointed it out Whisk.E. seemed to get upset that his half-assed apology didn't satisfy me. The founders haven't visited, and no one even posts ZCon stuff on the forums any more. I fear that the mojo this forum had has been lost.

To be quite frank, that blows. This place may pick up again, but I've pretty much moved on to other things anyway.
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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:05 pm

I bet if elections go a certain way and a TV show stops sucking, prepping may pick up again and get back into the mainstream.
They see me trollin', they hatin'.... keyboardin' tryna catch me typin' dirty
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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by jor-el » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:50 pm

Hacknarok again?

Would kind of hate to lose this place again. A lot of my police career is contained in my early posts, with all the relevant data on weaponry mixed within along with heavily edited politics.

You should have read the PM arguments I had with Kyle over the forum's direction and "perceived bias".

Think I cooled down after a second ban, but I never entirely gave up posting or arguing.

Still, life happens, and life is change. My concerns are somewhat less New York City related, and a lot more... Federal.

My Krypton is well on the way to certain destruction. I'm more active on local gun boards, but thanks to worsening legislation and political climate, they have become as moribund as here and the dwindling membership launch their family escape ships to more conservative friendly worlds. Before long I'll join them and watch the place of my birth collapse in a burst of flames, drugs and trash.
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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by MPMalloy » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:59 pm

It would suck real serious hind-quarter wind to lose ZS. This place is so much better than the other places I have been looking at on the interwebz.

Yeah, it has really dropped off here.

Why don't TPTB come around anymore. Why are they still paying out the money to keep the lights on?

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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by JayceSlayn » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:51 am

This is the only online forum I am significantly invested into, and I usually check in daily to see if there have been any new interesting posts. I don't participate in the chat threads, though I know a few members find a community in that as well.

I like ZS because discussions are often well-reasoned (or at least civil) for either side or aspect of an issue, and we have a lot of good, different opinions as well. The posting frequency is low, but I think that goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned deliberate quality of posts. While there are spammers, and the occasional flammer, our self-moderation is so well-attuned that we rarely have major issues with regular posters.

I appreciate that some aspects of discussion are off-limits (i.e. politics, religion, etc.) because a quick review of anywhere else on the web where those topics come up amongst the general populace always seems to quickly devolve into who can make the most number of non-sequitur, nonsensical insults the fastest. The format of online comment sections and forums lends itself to not always respecting the humanity and validity of other posters (actual spam bots notwithstanding), but it can also lend itself towards looking beyond petty differences (like race, geography, etc.), if we simply set those factors aside and focus on the literal content. I have no idea what any of you look like, sound like, (or smell like, thankfully :lol:) and maybe that is a better way to first understand someone anyway. At the same time, I'd probably be willing to have a drink with most any of you after having such quality discussions online, even if I'm pretty sure we'd see the world differently, because we've demonstrated that we can at least show a mutual respect for one another's views.

I hope the ZS forum and its regular contributors continue to stick around. I'd be hard-pressed to find another place to discuss similar topics that I'd like as much. However, in the interest of being prepared for if the zompocalypse happens to take down ZS HQ, and our "one is none, two is one" mantra: does anyone have suggestions for an alternate platform in which we could perpetuate our community if the unthinkable happens? (PM me if you want) The ZS Facebook is semi-active, though there is no real discussion there. Admittedly, I haven't looked very hard to find an alternative platform yet, because I'm so content with this one so far.
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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by woodsghost » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:00 am

Everyone I've talked to who searched for an alternative came up dry. Let us know if you find any alternatives.

If ZS goes dark, something will rise from the ashes. It may take some months. It may not. But something will come. There are too many people who appreciate this place. And the cost of this place is probably not very high. I've talked to people and the estimates are pretty reasonable.



EDIT:

I"d also start PMing your phone number or email address to ZS friends if you are a more social person and want to maintain contact with friends after a ZS collapse. Some people really want their privacy, though many of us also want to stay connected if things go down. So start getting in touch with friends now, and actually copy those phone numbers and email addresses down if your friends choose to share. That is the mistake I made during this ZS shutdown. I thought things were going good and did not feel the need to save contact information any place but in PMs.
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Re: Is the End Nigh?

Post by jor-el » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:36 am

I was originally referred to this place from AR15.com. They didn't have an outdoors/survival forum in 2003 but they do now.

https://www.ar15.com/forums/outdoors/

Been spending a lot of time here lately, as a current fan of the Ruger Mini.

https://www.perfectunion.com/vb/

Most of my activity is on local NY forums too minor to concern from a national viewpoint.

It also occurs to me there are a number of posters who are no longer with the living, such as hk33k and Jeriah, whose musings are archived here, possibly nowhere else.
My son, you will travel far, but never be alone, for I am with you, my M14 and battle axe comfort you.

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