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The Egg
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New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:16 am

Please refrain from discussing anything related to the front page, the state of TR, or the new ownership here. We already have threads for those topics.


This thread is to discuss alternate tech/gaming websites for TR Gerbils, with emphasis on those which have active forum communities. The goal is to narrow down a list of the best communities, and then hopefully we can keep the majority of TR membership together. Barring that, at least it should help people know what's available and out there. If you have a suggested website, give your thoughts below (pros/cons, etc) as well as what your experiences have been (if any). If someone has already listed a site, elaborate with your own thoughts/experiences. Please also list your screenname if you're a member somewhere, so we know how to find you.

Again, lets keep this focused to the topic of websites and forum communities.
 
The Egg
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:23 am

These are all I have so far, but I've only just started looking. I've been hanging out at TR for so long, I kinda lost touch with what's out there......which is kindof the point of this thread. Anyhow, give your thoughts, experiences, and/or whether you disagree with anything below....


TechPowerUp
My username: The Egg
PROS:
  • Very large and active forum community
  • Forum layout/UI and functionality are pretty decent
  • Forums are well moderated, but also appropriately casual and not overzealous with things such as language
  • I've run into a couple other TR users (Chrispy_, biffzinker), and probably several I'm not yet aware of
  • Main website is also very active, with new content/reviews on a daily basis
  • Main website has outstanding resources. Not only are they the creators of GPU-Z, but also host large searchable databases with full info on nearly all mainstream CPU/GPUs of the past 20 years.
CONS:
  • Everything that comes with having a very large community (trolls, idiots, bad advice)
  • Some may not consider it a con, but content on the main site almost rolls in too quickly, to the point it feels somewhat impersonal and robotic
  • Again with the large community, new threads have responses from others so quickly that at times I feel as though I don't have much to contribute.
  • The forum user preferences are missing a couple QOL settings which I'd like to have (threads in descending order, colors)
  • Though not unusable, the layout of the main site is mildly off-putting to me
TechPowerUp is where I'm spending most of my time so far.


HotHardware
My username: None / Have Not Joined Yet
PROS:
  • Layout of the main website is outstanding, probably my favorite so far
  • Excellent and very active and article comments section; layout and functionality very similar to TR
  • Mr derFunkenstein writes articles and contributes
  • As far as the main site is concerned, probably the closest in content and style to TR that you're going to find anywhere
CONS:
  • The forums are dead dead dead dead dead. Though I see a large number of posts listed overall, most areas show they haven't had a new posting in anywhere from several months to a multiple YEARS. Either something isn't displaying correctly for me, or I'm not sure what the heck happened.


GamersNexus
My username: None / Have Not Joined Yet
PROS:
  • One of the current rockstars of the PC Hardware/Gaming world.
  • Excellent content, both written and on YouTube. Both mediums are used to maximum effect
  • Very intelligent and thorough reviews; content such as full videocard teardowns which you rarely find elsewhere
  • Young owner with both knowledge and business savvy. GN is absolutely killing it, and will probably be around for quite some time
CONS:
  • Does not currently have a forum. At all. Nothing.
  • If and when they do get a forum, the size of the forum community may quickly become overwhelming. Depends heavily on how/where said forums were advertised
  • Steve has stupid hair. :lol:
 
tanker27
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:21 am

Who says we have to go anywhere that exists? sSomeone could easily host a phpbb and we as a community can go there. Or even a Discord channel. (Although I'm not to fond of the layout and how conversations work over there)

or

For the time being we just stay put. So far "they" haven't messed with the forums.
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meerkt
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:03 am

derFunkenstein suggested HotHardware.
steelcity_ballin suggested, as a temporary fallback, https://old.reddit.com/r/TRGerbils

@tanker27
I think The Egg suggests it as contingency, not "move now".

Setting up a fresh forum is possible, and I think some gerbils considered it. But there's an advantage to an existing site, and with non-forum content, because it's more likely to attract new members.

The Egg wrote:
HotHardware ... The forums are dead dead dead dead dead.

That's not a bad feature if you're looking for a place to take over (benevolently).
 
The Egg
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:29 am

tanker27 wrote:
Who says we have to go anywhere that exists? sSomeone could easily host a phpbb and we as a community can go there. Or even a Discord channel. (Although I'm not to fond of the layout and how conversations work over there)
or
For the time being we just stay put. So far "they" haven't messed with the forums.

I actually have experience with that (my home of 10 years prior to TR tried it). It would be a very derailing conversation though, so I won't get into it here. We'll just say you have a vote of null.

meerkt wrote:
derFunkenstein suggested HotHardware.
steelcity_ballin suggested, as a temporary fallback, https://old.reddit.com/r/TRGerbils

@tanker27
I think The Egg suggests it as contingency, not "move now".

Setting up a fresh forum is possible, and I think some gerbils considered it. But there's an advantage to an existing site, and with non-forum content, because it's more likely to attract new members.

You are correct. For the time being, this is just to wrap our heads around what's out there, and hopefully have a thorough discussion about the possible choices.

meerkt wrote:
The Egg wrote:
HotHardware ... The forums are dead dead dead dead dead.

That's not a bad feature if you're looking for a place to take over (benevolently).

That thought actually crossed my mind. Maybe derFunk has some more info on what happened over there.
 
gcrosier
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:37 am

Well, one of the benefits of reddit (in my mind) is that it could be whatever we gerbils build... but it'd be limited to just us contributing, and we'd all be contributing to one forum instead of spread out across topics.

One of the other sites, we'd join there and contribute among the masses or start using their currently unused forums...
 
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:20 pm

Reddit works well as a meetingplace in a pinch, but it's more or less identical to the "we could spin our own forum" option which I have personal experience with. Said option basically equates to 10'ish guys just shooting the s**t; and they quickly run out of things to talk about. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not forum.

Nobody has thoughts on other sites/forums so far?
 
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:38 pm

Most forums are dead; whats the point of moving on if we have a place here already, with our post counts, histories, and infrastructure already in place?
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superjawes
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:06 pm

It's a weird conundrum. Yeah, I'm fine sticking around as long as the forums are somewhat active and untouched from a functionality POV. However, I am not confident that things will remain untouched forever, so I am keeping an eye on alternatives to keep the community alive.

With that in mind, I'll throw my support behind something like Discord. Not a direct replacement, but it might be useful to maintain some extra lines of communication...just in case.
On second thought, let's not go to TechReport. Tis a silly place.
 
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:05 pm

pikaporeon wrote:
Most forums are dead; whats the point of moving on if we have a place here already, with our post counts, histories, and infrastructure already in place?

I think this is intended to be a "what if they take down the forums" thread. The fact it ever existed means people are worried. The fact it continues to exist means the new management isn't reading the forums. It's not a high priority, and I feel like if it doesn't make them money it'll be the first thing to get cut.
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meerkt
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:39 pm

The Egg wrote:
Nobody has thoughts on other sites/forums so far?

Reviews, mainly AnandTech for me (for better or worse).
Tech forums, generally just TR.
 
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:43 pm

I'll keep referring to TR forums for advice on PC tech, home improvement, vehicle maintenance etc since the community here has always been very helpful and hopefully most members will stay on.
For audio tech and music interests I recommend HeadFi.org. It has a very active forum community that posts almost every minute. Most folks there are very helpful as well. I use the same username handle there too.
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:18 am

The Egg wrote:
Reddit works well as a meetingplace in a pinch, but it's more or less identical to the "we could spin our own forum" option which I have personal experience with. Said option basically equates to 10'ish guys just shooting the s**t; and they quickly run out of things to talk about. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not forum.

Nobody has thoughts on other sites/forums so far?


The fact that Der Funk has some first-hand positive experience with the folks who run Hot Hardware seems like a pretty positive endorsement. It also sounds like gerbil refugees would be welcome to come inhabit their dead forums. So that seems like a pretty promising option to me.

Having said that, my strongest preference is to go where everyone else goes.

I'm wondering if we should move sooner rather than later. Eventually the cylons are going to find this little enclave and nuke it. Better that the Battlestar Gerblactica move on before that happens.
 
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:01 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
It's not a high priority, and I feel like if it doesn't make them money it'll be the first thing to get cut.

This is an interesting point. I don't know the numbers, but Google searches end up with TR forum posts quite often (in particular if people are looking to troubleshoot issues). If this is all about SEO, the forums should be valuable enough. What may need to be done is to make our posts hit the search results even more and higher up, but it actually further supports the continuing presence of the forums.
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The Egg
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:31 am

blastdoor wrote:
The fact that Der Funk has some first-hand positive experience with the folks who run Hot Hardware seems like a pretty positive endorsement. It also sounds like gerbil refugees would be welcome to come inhabit their dead forums. So that seems like a pretty promising option to me.
Having said that, my strongest preference is to go where everyone else goes.
I'm wondering if we should move sooner rather than later. Eventually the cylons are going to find this little enclave and nuke it. Better that the Battlestar Gerblactica move on before that happens.
Agreed, though after joining HH and taking a look around, the whole forum setup is pretty awful. I can understand why nobody goes in there anymore. Considering how bad it is, and how all the existing posts are totally ancient, they should probably just nuke the whole thing and start over.

@derFunk: Have you had any discussions with HH ownership about the state of their forums? Do you think they would be open to rebooting?


G8torbyte wrote:
For audio tech and music interests I recommend HeadFi.org. It has a very active forum community that posts almost every minute. Most folks there are very helpful as well. I use the same username handle there too.
I can give props to HeadFi. I probably joined in something like '06 before purchasing my Senn HD595's (which I still use), and my limited use has been positive. I pop in every now and then when I need info, but otherwise tend to keep my distance, for fear of contracting the dreaded Audiophilia nervosa.

Flying Fox wrote:
I don't know the numbers, but Google searches end up with TR forum posts quite often (in particular if people are looking to troubleshoot issues). If this is all about SEO, the forums should be valuable enough.
You've got a point, but we have no idea if they've considered that fact, or really what any of their plans/motivations might be. The people making the decisions are probably 3-steps removed. At any given moment they could just decide the whole thing isn't working out.

G8torbyte wrote:
I'll keep referring to TR forums for advice on PC tech, home improvement, vehicle maintenance etc since the community here has always been very helpful and hopefully most members will stay on.

TR is indeed a forum option, though an increasingly poor one. The majority of the community has already left, and will continue to do so.
 
meerkt
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:00 am

The Egg wrote:
they should probably just nuke the whole thing and start over.

Why not migrate the existing posts and users? :)
 
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:11 am

The Egg wrote:
@derFunk: Have you had any discussions with HH ownership about the state of their forums? Do you think they would be open to rebooting?

It's on my to-do list, but I need to figure out how to do it and move it to my "done" list.
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The Egg
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:43 am

meerkt wrote:
The Egg wrote:
they should probably just nuke the whole thing and start over.

Why not migrate the existing posts and users? :)

Less time/work/cost, and thus an easier idea to pitch to ownership. Multiple sections haven't seen a new post in 2 years. That's just the most recent post. Scroll down a handful of threads, and you might be 5-6 years ago. Not worth saving IMO.

That said, I imagine they'd want to retain username/profiles due to the front page article commenting. The system for article commenting appears substantially more advanced, so maybe the usernames could be retained there and then imported into whatever new forum setup. A little out of my wheelhouse, TBH.
 
dragontamer5788
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:59 pm

Hmmm... I've given some thought to how the community could work moving forward. TechReport, in my eyes, is largely defined by its writing and its community. Content is king as they say, but clearly the presentation of the content (ex: threading, accounts, forum features, etc. etc.) matters a lot too.

Removing the "writing" part, and we are just left with a forum. Not necessarily bad, but the long-term trend of a pure-forum isn't the best. Without the draw of new readers / new blood, forums inevitably peter out. Articles play an important role in drawing in new lurkers, who may become occasional posters, who may become long-term posters in a community. Attracting new members on forum-content alone is sub-par at best. Articles play a large part in that part of the community.

I haven't thought too much beyond that. There's also the issue of governance: choosing moderators and other general "plumbing" associated with setting up a forum. I'm confident anyone here can set up a forum, we're all technically inclined around here. But the goal isn't to just have a working forum, its to have a high-functioning community... ideally one that self-generates content (ex: where we can discuss our own hardware and maybe share our knowledge to newcomers and veterans alike).

---------

I guess what I'm saying is: without content, any forums will be a mediocre community at best. At a minimum, people should consider a Wiki (maybe MediaWiki, since a lot of people are familiar with it), and consider building this hypothetical "Hardware Wiki" as a community, volunteer-driven project. At a maximum, paid writers should be funded (through some unknown mechanism) to generate content. These sorts of projects and articles are essential to web-community building these days.
 
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:31 pm

Just join TechPowerUp or Overclock.net forums, problem solved. Both are very active.
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The Egg
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:30 am

dragontamer5788 wrote:
Hmmm... I've given some thought to how the community could work moving forward. TechReport, in my eyes, is largely defined by its writing and its community. Content is king as they say, but clearly the presentation of the content (ex: threading, accounts, forum features, etc. etc.) matters a lot too.

Removing the "writing" part, and we are just left with a forum. Not necessarily bad, but the long-term trend of a pure-forum isn't the best. Without the draw of new readers / new blood, forums inevitably peter out. Articles play an important role in drawing in new lurkers, who may become occasional posters, who may become long-term posters in a community. Attracting new members on forum-content alone is sub-par at best. Articles play a large part in that part of the community.

I haven't thought too much beyond that. There's also the issue of governance: choosing moderators and other general "plumbing" associated with setting up a forum. I'm confident anyone here can set up a forum, we're all technically inclined around here. But the goal isn't to just have a working forum, its to have a high-functioning community... ideally one that self-generates content (ex: where we can discuss our own hardware and maybe share our knowledge to newcomers and veterans alike).
---------
I guess what I'm saying is: without content, any forums will be a mediocre community at best. At a minimum, people should consider a Wiki (maybe MediaWiki, since a lot of people are familiar with it),
and consider building this hypothetical "Hardware Wiki" as a community, volunteer-driven project. At a maximum, paid writers should be funded (through some unknown mechanism) to generate content. These sorts of projects and articles are essential to web-community building these days.

You hit the nail on the head about 7 times. I was part of a community for nearly 10 years prior to TR, and they attempted the "spin your own forum" option in the end-stages. It didn't work for all the reasons you mentioned (and a few more). Some of the latter ideas aren't half bad, but it would've required quick and decisive action to stand a chance.

JohnC wrote:
Just join TechPowerUp or Overclock.net forums, problem solved. Both are very active.
Maybe too active, depending on what you're looking for (see my original post). I've seen Overclock.net mentioned a few times now though, so I'll give them a good look.
 
The Egg
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:05 am

Anyhow.....I'll see about updating the original as time goes on here. Maybe it will be of use to someone. Otherwise my screenname is generally going to be "The Egg" or thereabouts, should you happen to bump into me.
 
roncat
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Re: New Forums/Websites For TR Gerbils

Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:10 pm

The Egg wrote:
dragontamer5788 wrote:
Hmmm... I've given some thought to how the community could work moving forward. TechReport, in my eyes, is largely defined by its writing and its community. Content is king as they say, but clearly the presentation of the content (ex: threading, accounts, forum features, etc. etc.) matters a lot too.

Removing the "writing" part, and we are just left with a forum. Not necessarily bad, but the long-term trend of a pure-forum isn't the best. Without the draw of new readers / new blood, forums inevitably peter out. Articles play an important role in drawing in new lurkers, who may become occasional posters, who may become long-term posters in a community. Attracting new members on forum-content alone is sub-par at best. Articles play a large part in that part of the community.

I haven't thought too much beyond that. There's also the issue of governance: choosing moderators and other general "plumbing" associated with setting up a forum. I'm confident anyone here can set up a forum, we're all technically inclined around here. But the goal isn't to just have a working forum, its to have a high-functioning community... ideally one that self-generates content (ex: where we can discuss our own hardware and maybe share our knowledge to newcomers and veterans alike).
---------
I guess what I'm saying is: without content, any forums will be a mediocre community at best. At a minimum, people should consider a Wiki (maybe MediaWiki, since a lot of people are familiar with it),
and consider building this hypothetical "Hardware Wiki" as a community, volunteer-driven project. At a maximum, paid writers should be funded (through some unknown mechanism) to generate content. These sorts of projects and articles are essential to web-community building these days.

You hit the nail on the head about 7 times. I was part of a community for nearly 10 years prior to TR, and they attempted the "spin your own forum" option in the end-stages. It didn't work for all the reasons you mentioned (and a few more). Some of the latter ideas aren't half bad, but it would've required quick and decisive action to stand a chance.

JohnC wrote:
Just join TechPowerUp or Overclock.net forums, problem solved. Both are very active.
Maybe too active, depending on what you're looking for (see my original post). I've seen Overclock.net mentioned a few times now though, so I'll give them a good look.



Suprisingly, hardforum.com is still very active. Go figure.

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