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Thread: RIP akspokes?

  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    RIP akspokes?

    So is akspokes done for good or is someone else taking over/ moving to different servers ectera?

  2. #2
    Diaskeuast
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    It's dead. A new Alaska-specific forum at a new site is in the works, and an announcement will be made here when it's ready.
    Enjoying the meaningful pursuit of meaningless fun.

  3. #3
    No, that's not phonetic
    Reputation: tscheezy's Avatar
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    I'm still scratching my head over the perceived need for another AK-specific forum. I mean this one already exists, and AK spokes got basically ZERO traffic. Weeks would go by with no new posts other than something in the classifieds. The place really sucked imo. It drained traffic from here, but that traffic didn't actually rematerialize over there in some weird violation of the conservation of energy.

  4. #4
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    I think the biggest issue with AKspokes is that it ended up being another MTB forum, and wasn't used by the cycling "community." Location based bike sites are great, but the discussions of bikes have to be secondary to the discussions of biking. As an example, the site for the Twin Cities in MN is MPLSbikelove. I think a site like it for Alaska could be successful.

    http://mplsbikelove.com/forum/index.php

  5. #5
    Diaskeuast
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    I've never quite understood how people can claim akspokes drained traffic from this forum while simultaneously saying that akspokes sucked and people weren't using it. If it wasn't more popular with some people, then why weren't they over here debating the gram savings of drilled-out rims and the metallurgical differences in various types of aluminum? (Maybe because they were in one of the brand-specific mtbr forums enjoying a circle jerk with all the other members of their little club of [Fill in the brand here] owners.)

    If you think alternative forums suck, don't use them.

    As for me, when I have the choice between a huge national site with one little forum devoted to Alaska, or an Alaska forum with multiple categories of discussion including road biking, commuting, trail reports, etc., I'll take the latter.

    AKspokes was a vibrant forum until the past few months, when it suffered from neglect. It ended up ugly and slow. I'm glad it's dead and we can start over with a better version elsewhere.
    Enjoying the meaningful pursuit of meaningless fun.

  6. #6
    It's All About We!
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    I used it. I used it for personal stuff, and for rando stuff. I thought it was great for community cycling culture, whether that be commuters, racers, transpo, fun-rides, art, rando, etc. But after the update, it really seemed to lose a lot of people.

    Kevin
    alaskarandonneurs.org
    The Big Wild Ride - August 21-25

  7. #7
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    Karma hit the nail on the head, as did Tarnac. Post-update akspokes became annoying and slow to use and a lot of folks seem to have dropped off because of those issues - at which point the site stopped being of much value.

    A new site would be great if it is simple, fast and actively used by more than handful of bikers. Having active trail reports again would be nice - and those never seemed like a good fit for MTBR. So, whoever you are, thanks for making the new site happen and don't be shy about asking for donations.

  8. #8
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    There has to be some amount of promotion on and off-line from both administrator(s) and members with any kind of forum in order to thrive. I seem to remember searching local bike organization sites like ABC, Wombats, UAA bike club, Off the chain, and so on for a week or two before stumbling upon akspokes. It was not an easy forum to locate for me at the time I was looking for that resource.

    Participating in a number of different forums of different interests over the years now its been my observation that forums live or die on members reaching out to the (insert activity here) community at large to bring in new members to keep the discussion dynamic. One forum I was pretty active in for a while went so far as to mail out packs of business cards for supporting members to hand out at events promoting awareness and new membership. Some forums can be run almost like a business where the admin can be fairly compensated for their time keeping the forum active, not just scraping by for bandwidth fees. I feel there is nothing wrong with an Admin who can make a few dollars for their efforts in providing a smooth operating, dynamic forum.

    BTW I like to pay cash (or beer) for supporting member status so whomever is responsible will have to call me out for payment.

  9. #9
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    later akspokes

    Manny owes me $40 from the Dias De Los Muertos 2009. **** it- this discussion is over!
    Frank McGuire

  10. #10
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I'm still scratching my head over the perceived need for another AK-specific forum. I mean this one already exists, and AK spokes got basically ZERO traffic. Weeks would go by with no new posts other than something in the classifieds. The place really sucked imo. It drained traffic from here, but that traffic didn't actually rematerialize over there in some weird violation of the conservation of energy.

    With AK's geographic isolation, having our own, separate forum is worthwhile I think. Especially for classifieds. There are free local and regional forums that see a ton of activity all over the lower 48. AKspokes lost user interest and traffic when it got incredibly slow and the admin stopped enjoying it enough to care. I think there's plenty of demand for it. Shame that AKspokes isn't archived somewhere.

    http://www.mtbnj.com is an excellent example of a flourishing state-based site. Admins who are involved and care, tons of support for the community(which results in tons of support from the community. Huge amount of traffic. Granted there's a shitton of riders in that area, but still, that site is very well used.

    Mtbr certainly has a wealth of information and is a valuable resource for the mtb community nationwide, if not worldwide, but I like having a local place to go, even on the interwebs.

  11. #11
    Diaskeuast
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    Shame that AKspokes isn't archived somewhere.
    This goes beyond my technical knowledge, but I do happen to know that the database was backed up before the site went dark. Maybe the old stuff can be restored on a new site.
    Enjoying the meaningful pursuit of meaningless fun.

  12. #12
    MTB aficionado
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Karma
    As for me, when I have the choice between a huge national site with one little forum devoted to Alaska, or an Alaska forum with multiple categories of discussion including road biking, commuting, trail reports, etc., I'll take the latter.

    I too believe a local forum is good. However, this new site must be a lot different than the old one to succeed. What about an STA sponsorship? Connecting an official non-profit organization to the site might get more volunteers involved to help administer. It might feel more like a community effort rather than a burden to maintain.

    Also, one of the issues for me was the dilution of information among too many categories. Too many clicks to get to the too many categories. There's just not enough local traffic to be so categorical. I think funneling traffic into no more than 8 categories would be a good strategy to adopt. I'd recommend these to begin with:

    General Discussion
    Bicycle Advocacy
    Summer Passion
    Winter Passion
    Local Alaska Cycling Events
    Alaska Travel Logs
    Trail Conditions / Maintenance Information
    Market Place

    Finally, in speaking with some other users, the topic of censorship came up time and time again. The "Big Brother" attitude was not well received at all. I could write a tome on this, but in short all opinions should be treated equally (insults and all).

    Regards,

    EndUser
    My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndUser
    I too believe a local forum is good. However, this new site must be a lot different than the old one to succeed. What about an STA sponsorship? Connecting an official non-profit organization to the site might get more volunteers involved to help administer. It might feel more like a community effort rather than a burden to maintain.

    Also, one of the issues for me was the dilution of information among too many categories. Too many clicks to get to the too many categories. There's just not enough local traffic to be so categorical. I think funneling traffic into no more than 8 categories would be a good strategy to adopt. I'd recommend these to begin with:

    General Discussion
    Bicycle Advocacy
    Summer Passion
    Winter Passion
    Local Alaska Cycling Events
    Alaska Travel Logs
    Trail Conditions / Maintenance Information
    Market Place

    Finally, in speaking with some other users, the topic of censorship came up time and time again. The "Big Brother" attitude was not well received at all. I could write a tome on this, but in short all opinions should be treated equally (insults and all).

    Regards,

    EndUser

    I agree. One shouldn't create a forum that only entertains the interests of a select few. MTBR is fine with me, as I believe a variety of opinions are accepted here.
    c

  14. #14
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    Manny owes me $40 from the Dias De Los Muertos 2009
    Ha! Good luck with that. Rest assured this whatever we come up with to replace AKSpokes will be certified Manny-free.

  15. #15
    Wood chips are stupid
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    Spreading the wealth

    Having a local forum is kinda fun. I think we should take another crack at it.
    Besides,I have some more Iggy pics to share.

    akdeluxe
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "Trust me,you don't want a big baby."

    JT

  16. #16
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    a local forum would be a nice place to have detailed trail descriptions and maps online. I've been toying with making some trail vids...hyperspeed them so you don't get bored with my slow riding...but they could be cool in addition to a map to show people what the trails look like from beginning to end.

    ~J

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkiMonkee
    Ha! Good luck with that. Rest assured this whatever we come up with to replace AKSpokes will be certified Manny-free.

    No good deed goes unpunished.

  18. #18
    Bikes are good
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    Advertise

    If another forum doesn't start up, we should make little signs for kiosks on the STA trails directing folks to this forum. There are gobs of people on those trails, and I don't think they are all on here. It's funny when someone t's off on the forums complaining of bikers doing wrong things, when the people on these forums are rarely the ones being wrong. Until then, we should work on blowing this one up. Local or not, it does the same thing Spokes did.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  19. #19
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I run a forum here in Kodiak for snow and trail conditions. It's totally free (for me and the users), and I do almost nothing to maintain it.

    http://kodiaksnow.proboards.com/index.cgi

    Seriously. This internet thing is dead simple if you don't feel the urge to go fancy buying your own software and running servers.

  20. #20
    seedub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen Bee
    No good deed goes unpunished.
    Indeed. Amazing isn't it?
    you may have come before us on no bicycle, but that does not say you know everything.

  21. #21
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
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    Look what I found....

    http://alaskabikehub.com/forum/

    Usernames and passwords apparently carried right over, easy peasy.

  22. #22
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    Awww, didn't you read my signature? Have the terrorists won? I have a picture of me and Iggy Pop in the Atlanta airport circa late 90s somewhere...have to upload that if I can find it.

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