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Things I've noticed about HTF since returning.


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#1 of 108 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted July 20 2010 - 09:54 AM

As usual, Home Theater Forum is very well-run and well-moderated. That has not changed.


However, the look of the place is a bit bewildering but something one can get used to. To those in charge, however: You might want to return to HTF's old logo. I am speaking as someone who looks at page designs professionally. Though the typeface of the old logo was quaint, it, along with the little house and silver disc, had a charm all its own.


Look at so many magazines today and how their designs seem so robotic. That's the result of everyone going to Photoshop. No one, it seems, ever sts down with a pad of paper and a pencil and actually designs a logo any longer. I think HTF should look to integrate its new look somehow with the old logo.


Another thing I've seen: There seems to be less activity on the boards these days. I do remember that being a concern two or three years ago, but, now, it seems pretty obvious. In the "old days," activity at HTF was hard to keep up with. Yet, now, with more members than ever, HTF posting activity is down. Sad.


I remember the other moderators speculating about the ever-changing nature of the Internet, and there's something to that. The novelty of it is gone and people are reacting differently. Too, there's competition -- though I doubt the "typical" member of HTF is a Twitter freak. But I guess HTF is a victim of its own success here. ( I still maintain,, though, as I did back then, that the supposedly "largest" home theater-related Website may not, in fact, have hundreds of thousands of members. I just don't think so. HTF is to be lauded for being honest about its membership numbers.)


The place also seems "calmer" in the sense of trolls and trouble-makers. No more spurious posts just to increase one's post counts, either. No offense, but I was so put off by all the "tournaments" that took place in the Polls sections. I remember some users commenting how much their post counts had grown since they started playing/participating in those darn tournaments.


Another thing I've not liked (but had been put in place when I was a moderator): Using Internet handles as "names." I certainly understand Ron Epstein's reasoning here, but, still, it's kind of sad to see those wacky handles.


There definitely still are spammers posting on the boards, too. I've been hit with a "sales" post in my private message board since returning, but what the hell ...


I'll try posting here as much as I can (though when the "news cycle" picks back up again in the fall, I'll have to be scarce). HTF is a fine board.



#2 of 108 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted July 20 2010 - 10:14 AM

I join everyone else in welcoming your return, Jack!


There definitely still are spammers posting on the boards, too.


It's a constant battle, 'cause they're adaptive creatures. Send me a PM with the user name and a copy of the message if anyone further pollutes your message box.


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#3 of 108 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted July 20 2010 - 10:16 AM

I've discussed this before, but my own personal experience is that...


Sometimes you just get talked out.  The repetition kind of wears you out.  As much as I enjoying praising films I love, sometimes you can only say the same thing so many ways.


For myself, the format war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray really left a sour taste in my mouth that almost drove me away from the HTF.  Despite all of the hard work of the moderators to maintain a civil atmosphere (and trust me this is not a criticism of the moderation) there were times when the posting became so personal and so negative that I left on occasion.


I definitely miss some of the 'old timers' that no longer post, but to balance that out, one makes new acquaintances on the board.

I believe I am posting more these days however, and I hope to see your presence on the board, Jack.


Re: logos.  I do miss Turkey Knapp. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


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Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#4 of 108 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted July 20 2010 - 10:23 AM

Walter, it's great to see you too. I always enjoyed your posts -- like "talking to a real person." And, like you, I sure miss some of the older members here. (Anybody see Lew Crippen of late?)


Also, I had reached the point of being "talked out" on so many topics three years ago. Some time off helps! (Not to mention having a "new" favorite film.)



#5 of 108 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted July 20 2010 - 10:29 AM

Likewise as always, Jack.


Speaking of new favorite films, I hope you get a chance to screen Inception.  I kind of liked it. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


- Walter.


Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#6 of 108 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 20 2010 - 11:00 AM

Welcome back, Jack!


Almost didn't recognize you.  Something seems - off - about your avatar.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif


Things have been quieter around here than in times past - a combination, I think of the DVD format maturing, the HD-DVD/Blu Ray format war wearing people out (and making even well-run sites less friendly than they had been) and the software change.  The switch definitely involved some growing pains, and the look and feel of the new system were so different that some members gave up on it before many of the early bugs were worked out.

But as HDTV becomes more mainstream, Blu Ray gains market share and people look to add great sound to their suddenly great picture, I've noticed a lot of new members coming aboard.  (Of course, I mostly hang out in the Beginners section, so I tend to notice.)  But even someone like my own brother-in-law, who has been getting by with a 36" CRT for over a decade finally broke down and bought a 60" Sony LCD.  Now he wants me to use some existing speakers he has lying around, plus some donations (an old Denon receiver from me, a Velodyne sub from my uncle and a new Panasonic BD60 that I bought them as an early Christmas gift) to make something like a real HT out of it.  And if he's finally coming into the 21st century, I have to figure a lot of others are as well.  Some of them will find their way here.    Their experience will be all the better for having you around.


 Re: logos.  I do miss Turkey Knapp. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


Oh, yes.  Who doesn't?  /img/vbsmilies/htf/biggrin.gif


Regards,


Joe



#7 of 108 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted July 20 2010 - 11:51 AM

I agree - fewer people here, and worse layout.


I think HTF got some kind of deal with a forum design company, and that's why this questionable design is inflicted here.


One improvement over the old days is much better ability to post images. But that's the only real improvement I've seen compared to how it was many, many years ago.


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#8 of 108 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted July 20 2010 - 01:19 PM

Welcome back and GREAT comments!  This post will probably get moved to the dungeon of the  feedback area but I agree with every word =)


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#9 of 108 OFFLINE   BrianW

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Posted July 21 2010 - 01:01 AM

Good to hear from you, Jack.  Personally, I missed you.  Really.


Sure, it's quieter here, but would you really like to go back to the days of the epic Wire Wars and Anamorphic Arguments?


Okay, now that I think about it, yes, I would.


Welcome back.

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#10 of 108 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted July 21 2010 - 01:10 AM



Originally Posted by BrianW 


Sure, it's quieter here, but would you really like to go back to the days of the epic Wire Wars and Anamorphic Arguments?


Okay, now that I think about it, yes, I would.


I would, too....but I'm too busy breaking in my speakers getting ready to fire up the latest Divx release.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#11 of 108 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted July 22 2010 - 09:25 AM

Now, this post is not a vain attempt at keeping a thread alive, but this illustrates my point about how quiet it is at Home Theater Forum. If this thread had been started, say, in 2005, it would have generated about twenty or thirty responses by now. See what I mean?


Oh, and another thing I've noticed: My post count has diminished remarkably. (I used to have in excess of 21,000 posts to my credit, which, in those days, made me a little glad that we had decided to not show post counts in the posts themselves -- a decision made back in 2002 or 2003. I used to be at number three on the post-count list, exceeded only by Patrick Sun and Parker himself.)


And, finally, a word of thanks to Mike Frezon for his fixing up my avatar and supplying that image from David Lynch's film. Thanks, Mike.



#12 of 108 ONLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted July 22 2010 - 11:02 AM

Well, if you work hard to get your post count so it's again in excess of 21,000 posts, you'll be doing your part to solve the quiet-around-here problem./img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif


As Joe said, the switch from vBulletin to Huddler cost the HTF a lot of activity because things were not smooth the first few months. The bad economy also likely plays a role, since home theater is an expensive hobby that is very vulnerable to cutbacks.


Nice seeing you around again!



#13 of 108 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted July 22 2010 - 12:39 PM



Originally Posted by Jack Briggs 


Oh, and another thing I've noticed: My post count has diminished remarkably. (I used to have in excess of 21,000 posts to my credit, which, in those days, made me a little glad that we had decided to not show post counts in the posts themselves -- a decision made back in 2002 or 2003. I used to be at number three on the post-count list, exceeded only by Patrick Sun and Parker himself.)



A number of post counts were whacked in the software switchover, Jack.  I daresay Parker took the biggest hit of all.


There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#14 of 108 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted July 22 2010 - 02:21 PM

Thanks to that software glitch, I've risen closer to the high number of posts. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif



#15 of 108 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted July 22 2010 - 03:34 PM

I'm with Jack.  I was fine with the post count being hidden.



#16 of 108 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted July 22 2010 - 04:10 PM


Originally Posted by Jack Briggs 



Another thing I've seen: There seems to be less activity on the boards these days. I do remember that being a concern two or three years ago, but, now, it seems pretty obvious. In the "old days," activity at HTF was hard to keep up with. Yet, now, with more members than ever, HTF posting activity is down. Sad.


I too think it is sad. Despite being well run, there just isn't much life here. Still I don't really have any desire to put up with the garbage that you have to deal with on a lot of other forums, I guess I like the quiet---just wish it wasn't quite so quiet.



#17 of 108 OFFLINE   Todd H

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Posted July 23 2010 - 12:23 AM

Welcome back Jack!


Yeah, things have slowed a bit the last few years. It concerns me sometimes being a longtime member. I'm hoping things pick up soon as I'd love to see my favorite HT forum continue indefinitely.



#18 of 108 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted July 23 2010 - 02:20 AM

Jack:


I posted a message last night (at least I thought I did) but now i can't find it. I must have forgotten to submit it.


At any rate. Welcome back my friend. How have you been doing? Still doing SOSJAD?


Thanks for your critique of the forum. In reference to your comments about posting around the place we have all noticed the decrease in the amount of traffic. Honestly, we were headed that way before we decided to move to a new platform. The reason we moved from vBulletin to Huddler is that we knew we had to continue to grow or just close up shop. With vBulletin being purchased by Internet Brands many of the web sites that run vBulletin haven't upgraded to the current version due to the many bugs in the new platform. In addition the network we were on wasn't able to handle the upgrade to the software we needed to have installed. It had gotten to be a really bad situation.


The guys at Huddler offered us a different approach for us. They write and maintain all the software, updates and traffic to the site.  As changes to the software that are needed have been identified we have all worked together to get this done. It has been a process of growth for all of us. We still have a ways to go but we are getting there.


Personally I believe that much of the reason that actual posting traffic has gone down is due to a number of issues. For one additional sites in competition with us have started up. Social networking has really taken off as another way for posting about the things you care  about and the economy as a whole.


I am really glad to see you back on HTF. We are still the same place we always have been just with a new face. Having members such as yourself on the forum is the reason that we are still at it after 13 years. And with your help and all the rest of our old and new gang we will be here a lot longer.


Parker


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."
 


#19 of 108 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted July 23 2010 - 02:20 AM

I've hesitated to say this for fear of taking the thread in the wrong direction; but I'm taking a shot anyway.  I don't think the re-hosting had as much to do with the down-turn as the heavy handed moderating.  The place is kind of dull.  When the HD vs BR debate was in full swing, this forum shut down all conversation of the merits of each.  That had the effect of having people go elsewhere, and they didn't come back.  In my opinion, debating which is better is what this forum should have encouraged, not squelched.  Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the formus's dedication to keeping the conversation civil, but we could disagree on meaty issues without poking each other in the eye.


In fact, I think by just suggesting the rules are harsh, I've broken them; but I'm too lazy to check.  So this might be it for me.  So before I go (and I hope I'm being facetious here!) let me go out on a limb and bet there's at least one non-moderator posting of "I think he's breaking forum rules".  I mention this because it's always irked me.  Besides having to have something better to do, don't these posters understand that the moderators on these forums lose nothing to Cerebus?  If there's something inappropriate, they'll be on it; no need to inform them that they forgot to assign homework.

Okay, I'm feeling better now.  Flame away my friends, flame away.



#20 of 108 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted July 23 2010 - 02:32 AM

Al:


You are just fine with your critique. We have really been working hard to curb just that very thing. I can honestly say that the moderation of posts has really lessened since we have moved to Huddler. The only major things that we strictly enforce the same major ones we always have. That is no personal attacks, treat another members as if you are talking to them face to face and if you can't take it off line, no discussion of politics or religion or any discussion on how to defeat copy protected software.


Reporting another member is something that we have dealt with for the whole time we have been up and running and each report is looked at individually and action taken on that incident.


Hopefully you have noticed a decrease in the amount of moderation being used over the past year or so. If not let us know about it.


Parker


"I tried to get my medical records from the company but they say they

are confidential and can only be released to other insurance companies,

pharmaceutical​ reps, suppliers of medical equipment and for some

reason the RNC."