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Make the forum private?

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Poll: Make the forum private?

Yes - private by default
31 67.4%
No - keep as is
15 32.6%
Total number of voters: 46 ( Helen Horan, Paul Forristal, Donal O'Connor, Barry Mooney, Gráinne Coghlan ) See more
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5 months 1 week ago - 5 months 1 week ago #28591 by Brian Mc
Make the forum private? was created by Brian Mc
Do members think we should make the forum private (readable by members only) by default?

I wanted to gauge opinion on this. At present most fora are public, with the following set to private:
* super secret club business
* Racing (private)
* Leisure (private)

The public policy was for ease of use really, so people could quickly check in on the club without having to log in. If there was anything sensitive to be discussed, it could be done in the 'secret' forum.

I think two things have changed. Firstly, most members are more comfortable with technology compared to 10 years ago. So hopefully everyone should be able to log in and out with ease, or use an app like Tapatalk to stay logged in.

Secondly, the club has grown massively, leading to greater use of the forum to organise spins and events, and host discussions, with much private information being published. This has led to issues of spam, and even rather private notices being taken out of context and republished for a wider audience.

A separate point is that people often forget that nearly everything they post is public, and should be written as such.

This is not a binding poll, but I'd like some feedback on how people feel. (Votes appear to be public, I don't think I can hide them.) You can post in the thread if you have specific thoughts.

We can assume the historical fora will be left public for posterity.
Last edit: 5 months 1 week ago by Brian Mc.

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5 months 1 week ago - 5 months 1 week ago #28594 by Stephen Ryan
Replied by Stephen Ryan on topic Make the forum private?
Hi Brian

My preference would be for it to be kept open as broadly speaking I believe open access to information for general use is better than closed fora.

However before voting - and losing judging by the current score - I have a question. At the time of writing the "Who's online" says there are 183 guests and 5 members - 3 of whom I know through the club + myself. Do you know who or what makes up the 183? - bots, people not logged in, something else? I know I am picking a moment in time but I think its fairly consistent that "guests" far outnumber "members" . (It actually shot up to 264:6 while I was writing this )

fwiw - my main access to the forum is while not logged in and using the "recent topics" button to see if there is anything of interest. I usually only log in to post.

Regards,

Stephen
Last edit: 5 months 1 week ago by Stephen Ryan.

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5 months 1 week ago - 5 months 1 week ago #28596 by Brian Mc
Replied by Brian Mc on topic Make the forum private?

Stephen Ryan wrote: I have a question. At the time of writing the "Who's online" says there are 183 guests and 5 members - 3 of whom I know through the club + myself. Do you know who or what makes up the 183? - bots, people not logged in, something else? I know I am picking a moment in time but I think its fairly consistent that "guests" far outnumber "members" . (It actually shot up to 264:6 while I was writing this )


It's hard to tell precisely. The logs on the webserver are limited to the last 20,000 requests (which covers roughly 24 hours). From that sample, about half relate to the forum (8,934). Of those, 2,091 are definitely bots. I'd expect it actually to be higher in reality.

Stephen Ryan wrote: fwiw - my main access to the forum is while not logged in and using the "recent topics" button to see if there is anything of interest. I usually only log in to post.


Likewise, but this move would be the trade-off of that convenience against overall privacy and security.
Last edit: 5 months 1 week ago by Brian Mc.
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5 months 1 week ago #28597 by Padraig Cunningham
Replied by Padraig Cunningham on topic Make the forum private?
At the moment most browsing access to the forum by club members is as 'Guest'. Ask yourself, how often do you access the forum and of those accesses how often do you log in?

If we make the forum private we run the risk of killing it off. The argument for making it as accessible as possible is still valid, even if people are more tech-savvy than 10 years ago.

The forum's role as the club's bulletin board faces competition from WhatsApp groups - as it is there is probably stuff on WhatsApp that might be better more widely accessible on the forum.

So I'd keep it public for ease of access.
Pádraig

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5 months 1 week ago #28598 by Louise Keane
Replied by Louise Keane on topic Make the forum private?

The forum's role as the club's bulletin board faces competition from WhatsApp groups - as it is there is probably stuff on WhatsApp that might be better more widely accessible on the forum.


The forum will always be the main form of club communication. What's App groups are limited in number to 256 people and so are useless as a means of mass communication in a club of our numbers. And to be honest the thoughts of being in a Whats App group with 700 people is terrifying!

The forum has a "keep me logged in" facility so in theory once you are logged in once you will be remembered. These days computers and phones all have password saving capabilities making logging in easier.

If you look at other clubs many of their forums are private.

For the reasons Brian has outlined I have voted in favour of making the forum private.

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5 months 1 week ago - 5 months 1 week ago #28600 by Luke GJ Potter
Replied by Luke GJ Potter on topic Make the forum private?
It doesn't matter personally to me either way.

But one of the things that we lose might by going private, is the OpenGraph Cards generated by WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.
These previews provide some context to the caption of the content.
So unless I see the result of the privatisation on the OpenGraph Cards, I'd vote for remaining public.

As long as we can get the following meta tags, with the privatisation, I'd be happy:
# Twitter
<meta name="twitter:title" content="Thread Title" />
<meta name="twitter:description" content="Start of a Forum Post." />
      # This can be trimmed, as it's very long currently.
<meta property="twitter:image" content="URL/avatar.png" />
     # This can be changed to the club's logo to anonymise the poster.
     # There is currently a conflict between the twitter:image and robots.txt.

# Facebook
<meta property="og:title" content="Thread Title" />
<meta property="og:description" content="Start of a Forum Post" />
      # This can be trimmed.
<meta property="og:image" content="URL/avatar.png" />
      # This can be changed to the club's logo to anonymise the poster. 

# Taptalk
<meta name="apple-itunes-app" content="app-id=307880732, affiliate-data=at=10lR7C, app-argument=tapatalk://URL" />

# Default
<meta name="description" content="Start of a Forum Post" />
      # This can be trimmed.

Facebook Link Debugger: developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/sharing/
Twitter Card Validator: cards-dev.twitter.com/validator

Attached image is what is currently happening when we post a private link.
Attachments:
Last edit: 5 months 1 week ago by Luke GJ Potter. Reason: Meta Tags Clarification

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5 months 1 week ago #28602 by Diarmuid Donnelly
Replied by Diarmuid Donnelly on topic Make the forum private?
For the same reasons outlined by Louise, I am in favour of the forum being private by default. I think it's really not a good idea that a forum should be public where people discuss relatively sensitive stuff - like when they'll be out of the house or away for the weekend. With that information, plus a bit of digging around on Strava, and Facebook and then looking up publicly available residence details, bad things are possible.

Also, logging in to a forum is really simple - you remain logged in automatically for a lengthy period and when you get timed out, your browser can remember your details.

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5 months 1 week ago - 5 months 1 week ago #28609 by Joe Fitzpatrick
Replied by Joe Fitzpatrick on topic Make the forum private?
I too am in favour of open communication.
And I like the idea of going quickly to the Recent Topics for a quick check on whats happening.

However for the reasons Brian posted Im voting to make the forum private
(though I would prioritise the reasons in the reverse order)

At the risk of overcomplicating things
It would be great if the Recent Topics view was public - so I could see thread subject - activity numbers and link to last post. But then log in would be required to access message content.
Last edit: 5 months 1 week ago by Joe Fitzpatrick.

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5 months 1 week ago #28613 by Dave Murnane
Replied by Dave Murnane on topic Make the forum private?
I'm doing some work on machine learning at the moment.
It surprised me what can be picked out, even from relatively unstructured text.

I don't find it much of an inconvenience to log in.

Bots will get smarter over time. I will not.
I'm now a privateer.

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5 months 1 week ago - 5 months 1 week ago #28614 by Diarmuid Collins
Replied by Diarmuid Collins on topic Make the forum private?
I vote for keeping it open

To address some privacy issues is it possible to configure Kunena to "anonymise"poster names to non-logged in users?

The convenience of not having to log in and the ability to search (and more importantly find) old information using google search is too useful to lose. I'd imagine it also acts as positive for prospective members who might be encouraged to join based on the community spirit on display in the forums.

Having said that it wouldn't bother me a whole lot if it was made private.
Last edit: 5 months 1 week ago by Diarmuid Collins.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Luke GJ Potter

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5 months 1 week ago #28615 by Fergal O'Sullivan
Replied by Fergal O'Sullivan on topic Make the forum private?
There are pros and cons of making the forum private by default,

I understand the fact that potential club members will get a good feeling of the community within the club by being able to read the forum threads etc, on the other side do we want everyone to be able to read all of the treads I have seen some people posting phone numbers etc without marking them as private on the threads.

Before people come back to tell me that there are some private threads already I know.

As for the easy of being able to read the forum without having to log in isn’t really a reason not to make it private, people have to log into Twitter, Facebook etc – as people have pointed out already there is the facility to stay logged in and most browsers can save your username and password.

I would be in favor of making it private by default and having some threads as public, similar to the way it is at the moment with some private ones – however one thing to point out is that if was to be made private it should not be seen as a licence for people to post whatever content they want, the same rules of conduct would be applied.

Regards

Fergal

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