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I can see what both of you are saying but I agree with Charlie. Millipede is correct that the site isn't what it used to be. I was on Whatbird in the "old days". But Charlie is right that this is a free service. Perfection can always be desired, but can't always be expected. 

There are other ways to get IDs and interact with other birders aside from Whatbird.

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I just got kicked off my birding chat on discord for personal issues unrelated to birding. I want to turn to this forum to replace the birding fun but it's impossible when the site keeps going up and down all the time and the members are not listened to in relation to creating a better website with better subsections etc. I do wonder where the mods and admins are every time the website crashes. Do we need more people to keep track of it?

I understand no one is paying for this service, but no one pays for eBird and they run the website to perfection because they are under Cornell. This website is under iBird so I'm a little confused why we don't have the quality service we had before the major crash.

I'm considering starting my own forum but being a 17 year old with no resources that would be impossible. I'm already running my Kestrel webcam which requires everyday monitoring.

I agree with millipede in that we get literally no feedback as the website crashes constantly. It gives the impression that someone started the website and just let it go. Maybe I'm getting the wrong picture but from the viewpoint of a member this is certainly the appearance. It certainly does not give an inviting appearance for new members when the website is down half the time. 

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I just want to point out, as a former moderator on a different chat forum, the mods usually have very little control/input, if any, over the construction or function of the website. Aveschapines does a GREAT job of moderating. I am not sure if she has the IT skills to change the forum setup, I am not sure if she is allowed access to the programming itself to make any changes, and I am not sure if she has anymore influence with Admin than us members do in persuading changes.. I am quite sure though that the crashes, and any faults we find in the current layout of the forums, should not be be dumped on her shoulders. Moderating is a thankless job, and as frustrated as we may be with the current function and layout of the website, Aveschapines deserves our thanks for her efforts, not our criticism.

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Just now, lonestranger said:

I just want to point out, as a former moderator on a different chat forum, the mods usually have very little control/input, if any, over the construction or function of the website. Aveschapines does a GREAT job of moderating. I am not sure if she has the IT skills to change the forum setup, I am not sure if she is allowed access to the programming itself to make any changes, and I am not sure if she has anymore influence with Admin than us members do in persuading changes.. I am quite sure though that the crashes, and any faults we find in the current layout of the forums, should not be be dumped on her shoulders. Moderating is a thankless job, and as frustrated as we may be with the current function and layout of the website, Aveschapines deserves our thanks for her efforts, not our criticism.

Oh I definitely did not mean that. Aves does an incredible job. I'm more just wondering who is supposed to be doing the IT work and why nothing is showing for it. 

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5 minutes ago, Melierax said:

Oh I definitely did not mean that. Aves does an incredible job. I'm more just wondering who is supposed to be doing the IT work and why nothing is showing for it. 

To clarify: I don't really know who does what in forums, but everyone who is doing something now, you guys are all awesome. All I know is someone was keeping the site up to date and working technically before the crash and that isn't happening any more. Maybe it's major technical issues? I don't know but at least it would be nice to hear about it. 

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Melierax said:

I don't really know who does what in forums,

On most forums, moderators are people who started as early users and either asked or were asked to become mods.  They're usually people with an above-average knowledge of the forum's primary topic who also have the time to monitor the forum extensively.  Depending on the forum's rules, mods are responsible for keeping discussion on track, deleting offensive content, editing content by request after the normal timeout periods have expired, routine changes to user accounts, assisting users with routine questions about how to use the site, etc..

Administrators are the ones behind the curtain, making all the smoke and fire.  They handle registering the forum's domain name, deciding whether they'll host the site themselves or pay a hosting company to store everything, creating or selecting the software that runs the forum itself, making any changes to the design and operation of the forum, creating subforums, creating and / or managing any site content outside the forums, etc.  If the site is one that has it's own servers instead of paying to have the site hosted by someone else, admins are also responsible for the physical servers, their electrical and environmental needs, backing up site content, and providing redundant fail-safe operations if deemed desirable or required.

This of mods as the hotel concierge, while admins are the architects and builders.  On some sites, the admins and mods may be the same people (or person!).  Often on sites that are provided as a supporting feature of a primary site that's focused on something else (as this site is a subset of the iBird business site), the admins are often focused on the core business (application development) and trust the mods for day-to-day management.  If there's a problem with the site as a whole, admins will concentrate on getting the money-making pages up first; supporting features may have to wait.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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8 hours ago, millipede said:

@Aveschapines  who is running this

@Administrator is the person who runs this site. I can't answer most of your questions; I'm just a volunteer mod. I report to him when the site is down but I can't do anything about bringing it back up.

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7 hours ago, lonestranger said:

I am quite sure though that the crashes, and any faults we find in the current layout of the forums, should not be be dumped on her shoulders. Moderating is a thankless job, and as frustrated as we may be with the current function and layout of the website, Aveschapines deserves our thanks for her efforts, not our criticism.

I often wonder how I'm interpreted as I do seem to have some communication difficulties at times. But I will clarify that NOTHING I said was directed towards them...  I only tagged her(I feel weird saying "her" because I have no idea who's who here -ha- but since that pronoun was already used I'll use it again unless corrected...) because I knew she was in better contact with the admin than the rest of us. In the two times I've used the contact form when the forum was down, it was DAYS before I got a response. So I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask...

 

Quote

If I don't like the way a free site is being run, I seek alternatives.

which is happening to a lot of people here already and a BIG part of why I'm commenting in the first place. Fewer and fewer people will participate if things continue as is. I honestly don't think I'm out of line sharing my opinions on this matter. Free or not, they're providing a service on the internet and in all honesty, I'm being a lot nicer in this than some people could be. Any popular FREE website out there will have BIG negative responses if they were down for days at a time. That's just reality. That's how the internet works. I probably sound more ungrateful every time I try to defend my position but I'm really struggling to see why my position was questioned so strongly in the first place. It is what it is, I stand by my opinion and my RIGHT to say so.
I've already said that part of why I share my thoughts is because I care about this site and don't want to see it go... but if things stay as they are with crashes, a lack of communication, etc, things will struggle here and they'll lose more users AND more potential customers to their iBird I imagine.
anyway, I'll be done. You don't have to like what I say but please don't try to tell me I've got no place saying anything. I've said enough though so, I'm out of this one now.

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15 minutes ago, millipede said:

 I only tagged her(I feel weird saying "her" because I have no idea who's who here -ha- but since that pronoun was already used I'll use it again unless corrected...)

"Her" is correct; good of you to be sensitive but please don't feel bad about using it again. I also wouldn't ever be offended by other pronouns, because, like you said, it's hard to know online!

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online names can be difficult to decipher...  millipede isn't exactly clear... I'm a stay at home dad so,     though sometimes I consider myself an alien just visiting this planet.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, millipede said:

... I'm really struggling to see why my position was questioned so strongly in the first place. It is what it is, I stand by my opinion and my RIGHT to say so. ...

I agree completely.  But just as you have your right to state your opinion, I have my right to question it.  Either way, they're both opinions. 

We obviously have different expectation of a free service.  Your expectations are what I'm questioning, not your right to express them.  I apologize if I failed to make that clear.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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