Changes for the Nikon Cafe

Joined
Aug 21, 2009
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7,351
Location
Darmstadt, Germany
Real Name
Mike
In early August 2013, I became the new owner of the Nikon Cafe. This was not an easy decision for Patrick, but we agreed it was the best decision to keep the Nikon Cafe operational and growing. Some members might have noticed changes, but more are on the way. Some of the changes will not be noticeable, but most will be difficult to miss.

Some aspects of the Nikon Cafe will not change, the most important being the mission statement. The Nikon Cafe is, and always will be, a safe and friendly environment for the discussion of all things related to Nikon and photography. I promised Patrick that I would not change the nature of the Nikon Cafe that he and Frank created nearly a decade ago.

Here are some of the upcoming changes planned:

1. New server. The existing server is no longer supported by patches and upgrades and will be replaced on 28 November 2013. The new server is already operational and has been running concurrently with this server since early September 2013. Paul and I have been testing the new software baseline to ensure it meets the immediate and future requirements for the Nikon Cafe.


  • The transition to the new server will start on 27 November 2013 at about 0800 UTC when we shut down the Nikon Cafe to backup the database and prepare for the final synchronization of the domain migration the following day. As both Paul and I have full-time jobs, we must balance our requirements to the available time

  • To assist with the transition, the Administrator Team has been removing dormant user accounts and old threads. If you noticed a decrease in the membership number at the bottom of the home page, it’s due to removing thousands of dormant user accounts. The recent maintenance shutdown was required to repair and optimize the database, as well as reset the record counters for removed threads, posts, and members.

  • When the new Nikon Cafe is turned on, it could take a while for the IP address to promulgate through the domain name servers. Please be patient with us during this transition.

2. New software. The current version of vBulletin is no longer supported by Jelsoft and was superseded by subsequent versions. Unfortunately, the newer versions of vBulletin are too heavily integrated into social media sites, so we looked for a suitable replacement. We decided XenForo was the best solution for the Nikon Cafe, since its overall features can be fine-tuned to a much greater extent than any of the later vBulletin products, and it offers a nearly seamless import feature for the vBulletin database. Paul and I have tested this several times on various test platforms, and it works perfectly. When we migrate to the new server, we will also transition from vBulletin to XenForo. The Moderator Team has been working with the new Nikon Cafe configuration on the test server so they can become familiar with it prior to the change at the end of the month. XenForo is different than what you are accustomed to with vBulletin, but it has enough similarities that it should not be a challenge. The overall organization is similar to the current Nikon Cafe; however, more changes are planned for the fora presentation and order. I attached a screenshot from the test server that shows the working copy with very few threads and posts imported for testing.

3. Moderator Team. I made a difficult, and very unpopular, decision to change the Moderator Team. My decision was based purely on the desire for change and I am thankful for the selfless service the former Team provided. I hope you extend the same courtesy and respect to the new Team members as you did for the former Team members.

4. Tutiki. After the transition to the new server, we will monitor the load for a few months. If the new server can handle the load, we will bring the Tutiki out of hibernation and replace the link on the Nikon Cafe home page.

5. Photo Contests. The Moderator Team is putting the final touches on the next generation of the former Nikon Cafe Photography Challenge. The details will be announced soon after the transition to the new server is complete.

6. Donations. The donations feature has been permanently suspended. Since assuming ownership of the Nikon Cafe, only one member made a donation, which will be returned with my thanks. I will continue to fund the Nikon Cafe operating expenses without external assistance.

7. Cafe Store. I created an account at Cafe Press for members to buy various items with the Nikon Cafe logo. The items are priced at the lowest amount I could manage while minimizing a profit on the sales. The Cafe Press will disperse the meager proceeds from the sales quarterly, and I will announce the recipient charities each subsequent quarter. Feel free to offer suggestions for a suitable charity, as I do not want to keep the money.


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Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
382
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Tejaz
Does that mean there will finally be some social media intergration? That would be awesome.

EDIT: Might there be... a like button in the future? :eek:

And, y'all are doing a great job. Just thought I should point that out.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
3,868
Location
New Zealand
Please, no social media integration!!!!
That would differentiate it from the ones with integration. (Sorry - little maths humour there :rolleyes:)

Good luck, and good on you for being so philanthropic! :Angel: (I suppose these smilies will disappear too)
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
382
Location
Tejaz
Why not?

The forum itself is a form of social media. Just seem like you're saying no for the pure sake of saying no since there was no reasoning behind the no.
 
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Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
2,133
Location
Nebraska
Mike and all,

Thanks for all you do. The Cafe continues to be a great place to learn and grow as a photographer.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
7,501
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Mike and Paul - THANKS for your efforts in keeping the Cafe alive!

I'm excited about the photo contests. I really like the format that they have over at Fred Miranda..I'm hoping it'll be similar.
 
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
3,170
Location
Cornpatch
Why not?

The forum itself is a form of social media. Just seem like you're saying no for the pure sake of saying no since there was no reasoning behind the no.

As one who does not engage in MyFace and Flitter and SpaceBook and ChainLink, what would the addition of 'social media' gain for the forum?
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
382
Location
Tejaz
As one who does not engage in MyFace and Flitter and SpaceBook and ChainLink, what would the addition of 'social media' gain for the forum?

It's like adding video to DSLRs. Just because you don't use it that's no reason not to have it there when it will have zero impact on what you already do. :cool:

Easier to share threads from the forum on to social media web sites as well thus increase overall viewership on the forum is the first thing that comes to mind.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
5,725
Location
Annapolis
Why not?

The forum itself is a form of social media. Just seem like you're saying no for the pure sake of saying no since there was no reasoning behind the no.

More unnecessary clutter and noise than what I would like to see on a forum. I know how to sign up for Facebook and Twitter, I just don't see the need to be tied to everyone I don't want to be tied to. The Cafe has been a breath of sanity in this world of information and anti-privacy overload. I've been on forums with all this integration and nothing but commercialism follows and ruins it. Oh, and I hope Mike keeps the Google bots out as well.

Forgot to say, thanks Mike for your continuing efforts to keep the Cafe alive and true to its roots.
 
Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
1,200
Location
Warwick, N.Y.
Real Name
John DeSanto
I too support limited or no social media integration with the NikonCafe.

I have been saying it for years and it's never been more true: The Internet is mankind's greatest invention. Social media is a first class, Grade A disaster.

Why? Because to work properly social media requires people to act and post responsibly. The vast majority of human beings may act responsibly in their real lives - but they just do not post responsibly in their Internet lives.

The absolutely inane commenting that occurs at practically every social media website is proof positive of the awful people that are attracted to these places once social media becomes the gateway.

And Mike, I did notice the term "administrator" next to your name a couple of weeks ago and thought "what's up with that?" Now I know.

I would also call for a round of applause for Patrick Bramlett, in Huntsville, Alabama, and Frank "Flew" Wilson, somewhere up there in heaven, for getting this thing off the ground eight years ago.

Oh and good luck to the new administration team. (Looking forward to the photo competition.)
 
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Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Location
San Jose, CA
Thanks for saving the Cafe, Mike. It's been winding down in recent times, and I feared it would be the victim of entropy. The fact that you're an active participant as well as the owner encourages me to think it might be around for another 8 years.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
20,041
Location
TX originally from Louisiana
I've been wondering what was going on or not with the cafe. I hope Patrick and Leigh will drop in - they're such wonderful people! Thanks for keeping our cafe family friendly - it's still the best forum in town!
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
6,184
Location
Glens Falls, NY
More unnecessary clutter and noise than what I would like to see on a forum. I know how to sign up for Facebook and Twitter, I just don't see the need to be tied to everyone I don't want to be tied to. The Cafe has been a breath of sanity in this world of information and anti-privacy overload. I've been on forums with all this integration and nothing but commercialism follows and ruins it. Oh, and I hope Mike keeps the Google bots out as well.

Forgot to say, thanks Mike for your continuing efforts to keep the Cafe alive and true to its roots.

I too support limited or no social media integration with the NikonCafe.

I have been saying it for years and it's never been more true: The Internet is mankind's greatest invention. Social media is a first class, Grade A disaster.

Why? Because to work properly social media requires people to act and post responsibly. The vast majority of human beings may act responsibly in their real lives - but they just do not post responsibly in their Internet lives.

The absolutely inane commenting that occurs at practically every social media website is proof positive of the awful people that are attracted to sites once social media becomes the gateway.

And Mike, I did notice the term "administrator" next to your name a couple of weeks ago and thought "what's up with that?" Now I know.

I would also call for a round of applause for Patrick Bramlett, in Huntsville, Alabama, and Frank "Flew" Wilson, somewhere up there in heaven, for getting this thing off the ground eight years ago.

Oh and good luck to the new administration team. (Looking forward to the photo competition.)

My thoughts exactly with regard to social media. Very well said by both of you....

I would also like to add my thanks to Patrick, Leigh, Frank ("Flew") and all the moderators/volunteers for creating this oasis of sanity on the internet that is Nikon Cafe. I've been a member for about 5 years now (Wow!), and have enjoyed every minute of it.

And thanks to Mike and the new administrators and moderators for keeping it all going! :biggrin:
 
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