Topic: Number of Forum participants plunged- believing the worst?

@Duane or somebody willing to guess: As of a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the number of Forum guests kept increasing, often over 150 all day all times of the day. There were also a lot of new people registering. After those couple of days when the Forum was offline for Spam control, the number of guests dropped to one or two at a time.

This is just idle curiosity, but what do you think happened? Do you think all those folks just saw the page gone and assumed it was forever? There were a couple of articles picked up by Google that said yes, the Chumby Forums are dead and gone forever. If so, I'd never have guessed so many Chumby owners would give up so easily, kind of disappointing.

Or, could it be that so many of those "guests" were the spammers, and got banned? This doesn't seem likely. So, I'm going with the idea that a lot of Chumbyites believe all the doom and gloom stories posted and assumed it was "finally" over. Dumb. But I guess it makes it a lot easier to manage these forums!

On the opposite hand, it's a little thing but it was great to see a couple of new clock widgets posted recently. "Fraction clock" (Fractclock?) is really pretty cool. I hope some of you will check them out, just for the sake of posterity.

Re: Number of Forum participants plunged- believing the worst?

Spam has been a problem but I am guessing many are moving on to the next thing. It is sad to see forums and platforms wither and die. I hope Chumby is like Amiga and has a following for a long time but without new hardware and dedicated developers it really is just a matter of time. Another forum I followed just went dark (eeeuser). It had a massive following but netbooks fell out of favor with the masses. There were some amazing software and hardware hacks done. Camerahacking was another one that was great fun in it's time but smartphones made the project rather pointless. I remember my first Heathkit radio. I was very proud that it worked on the first try!

I also think Facebook has a hand in killing forums. Forums have been a great way to meet people from all over the world who have similar interests with you. Facebook is both direct and indirect competition.

I will continue to use my Chumbies until I can no longer find a use for them. I am hoping that will be quite some time. While I have not been a very active poster on this forum I have followed it nearly every day. I must say that I too am looking for something else to scratch this itch of hacking tech. My software skills started getting rusty 25 years ago but I like to follow others and my hardware stills aren't too bad. Any ideas?

Tar, feathers, congress. Some assembly required.

Re: Number of Forum participants plunged- believing the worst?

I have a feeling you'll see a lot of chumby hardware on amazon, ebay, etc. over the next 6 months or so with a huge flood once the servers actually go down.

Linux Guy - Occasional Chumby Hacker

Re: Number of Forum participants plunged- believing the worst?

This forum attracts a *lot* of spammers - or at least it did until it went down for a few hours a week or so ago.  It's very well linked by other sites, so ranks reasonably high in searches, and is therefore an attractive target.

Basically, spammers first view the forum to see if they can comment or post without creating account - that's where a lot of "guests" are showing up.  At that point, some of them register, but don't do the email verification step.  That was typically 100-200 a day.  Somewhere between 10-20 complete the email verification, and maybe 10 or so would post a spam.

When Akismet was active, all but a handful of these spammers were automatically banned.  What you as users see is maybe one or two a day getting all the way through before I catch them.

Every day or so, I clean out all of the unverified users, remove registered spammers, and delete spam posts.  "Docktor Jones" has been of great help with this, so when you get a chance, thank him.

When the forum went down, it appears that many spammers removed the site from their list of targets.  Had I known that were the case, I probably would have intentionally taken the forum down for a day or so just to make that happen.

We're currently seeing only about 20 spammers a day attempting to register, with 2 or 3 completing verification - I expect that will grow again as they discover the site is up again.

Historically, we get new users and guests in waves.  We recently had a little pop because the Chumby 8 was mentioned in the latest issue of "Better Homes and Gardens".  We obviously got a lot of traffic when Engadget "discovered" that the store was taken down.

Re: Number of Forum participants plunged- believing the worst?

It is a shame that the spammers make you waste so much time. The first person who discovers a 100% effective (and relatively cheap) method of filtering all spam will be a billionaire!

Tar, feathers, congress. Some assembly required.

Re: Number of Forum participants plunged- believing the worst?

I have been checking in lately, but haven't posted until now as I have been very busy with a car restoration. Some of the drop off was probably due to the temporary shutdown, which was also mentioned as permanent on several other websites. I am still willing to help out, and tweak the Zurk firmware instruction manual I created, but not until I get my engine back in. Ps, I also still have several working amigas, I like old tech, and I will try to keep the chumby working too.