State of the RU Nation

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State of the RU Nation

Postby Zep Tepi » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:34 pm

Well, state of the RU site would be more accurate, but doesn't look as impressive! There are a number of things I would like to inform you all about, both members and lurkers alike.

In no particular order, they are:

1. Record Visitor Levels
Last month saw our visitor record soar above the previous number set in October last year. That October saw just over 30000 visitors to the site, but last month that figure was made to look quite average in light of over 50000 visitors for the month, which itself was more than double the previous month. The new record doesn't look like lasting very long however; up to the 10th April there have already been close to 23000 visitors through the RU doors.

The forum is the most popular destination, but the main articles receive a lot of attention also. All of you regular posters who think there aren't that many people reading your posts can think again ;) A large number of other websites and blogs are linking to content at this site and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your intelligent and meaningful contribution to the site. It has been noticed here and it is getting attention "out there".

At peak times we are receiving over 2000 hits per hour so we have decided now is the time to upgrade to a dedicated hosting package, before the site dies under the pressure. This brings us neatly onto the next number:

2. Hosting Change
We now have a dedicated hosting package which will take over the hosting for this site within the next few weeks. It is already up and running with another host and is currently being used for testing that which is discussed below, namely:

3. Site Overhaul
As you all know, RU is not just a discussion forum but a "proper" website with articles and interviews, as well as the under-utilised blog. There is also a Wiki here, but we haven't had the time to populate it with relevant data and as such it is has lain dormant for quite some time (Anyone interested in taking over the administration of the Wiki please feel free to get in touch).

This forum runs on the phpBB2 software, but phpBB3 has been available since December last year and I've been itching to use it :) Well, that isn't entirely true because I have been using it. I upgraded the forum of a popular soccer-related website a couple of weeks ago and that went down a storm, so that particular site has been the testbed for our imminent upgrade ;)

The new forum is almost ready and I have to forewarn you, it is a drastic change from the current forum. There are a plethora of usability changes, but the biggest change will be the overall look of the forums. We won't be losing the black completely, but, well, you'll soon see ;)

A few people have already seen the work in progress and the feedback so far has been excellent. I did discover however that my colour preferences were not to everyone else's taste, so I am working on getting it "just right" before we take that final step and upgrade. If anyone is interested in being a beta-tester for the new forum, send an email to the usual address, or send me a pm. I anticipate the forum upgrade will take place on the weekend starting Friday 25th April.

In addition to the forum upgrade, we will also be completely overhauling the main website. Again, this will be a major transformation from the current version, but will bring it in line with current web standards and employ the same colour scheme and layout as the new forum. This is being worked on in tandem with the forum change, but the expected release date will be a couple of weeks after the forum goes live - possibly earlier.

4. Site Content
The first part of the looong awaited RU report will be released to coincide with the upgrade of the 'new' website. We haven't forgotten about it, much to the displeasure of those who have been waiting the longest to see what it contains... ;)

As well as offering more regular articles, and finally getting around to editing the interviews that we have conducted over the last few months, we will also be offering a regular podcast where you can hear both Ryan and myself (at first - hopefully we will be able to entice Access Denied and other members once it gets going) "chewing the fat" of various issues - both in and out of UFOlogy. I've also been thinking of a "Meet your Critic"-type podcast, but I'm not sure how many proponents of the weird would want to take part. It could get messy...!

Thanks to everyone for contributing to Reality Uncovered, both members and non-members alike. You have made this site what it is today and you will be the ones who take us forward in our attempts to uncover reality. Thank You :)

Cheers,
Steve
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Postby Shawnna » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:51 pm

:bgthbup:
"The only thing we found that makes the emptiness bearable is................... each other."

From the movie "Contact"

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Postby ryguy » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:13 pm

Just a quick follow-up to Steve's awesome detailed update...

(By the way...the new forum format Steve's been working on? UN----BELIEVABLE....wait till you see it...)

Paranormal Writers Unite

Also, we've been discussing some options to have a more rewarding experience for those members who dedicate a fair amount of time researching and writing on the topic of the paranormal. For many people involved in the paranormal, researching and writing is a hobby, and it hardly ever brings in any money. It's a labor of love - and sometimes life can make it because just a labor.

Steve and I have been discussing this and a current proposal is that we may consider "hiring" a team of writers to help us produce articles and content on a monthly basis for RU.

Pay at first wouldn't be a show-stopper, but once writers get a number of articles under their belt, it could add up quickly. A proposed reimbursement method would be to give writers 50% of the royalties for ad-revenue on their article pages. Obviously as more and more articles are published, the writer's ad-revenue would add up substantially. And as our traffic grows (thanks to the fantastic new content) - that revenue will grow and will bring you revenue every single month indefinitely. The success and income of RU becomes your success and income too.

Wouldn't it be nice if other forums out there were willing to share the benefits of success?

Another option is that we may just accept article submissions and offer a "fee" for exclusive publishing rights to the article, range from $5 to $10 (or more) depending on quality and/or content. Obviously articles with interviews or more "hands-on" research would receive more.

Anyway - I'd like anyone reading this with some decent writing skills to please consider if you might have a little time every day, or weekends, to devote to doing some research and writing at RU. Unlike other UFO sites, we will do our best to reward you for your efforts.

So why spend hours and hours at other UFO forums, when RU is willing to pay you for your energy and time? Other forums offer you what in return for your research....?

Please contact either Steve and/or I if you are interested in becoming a writer for RU.

Thanks,
-Ryan
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Re: State of the RU Nation

Postby Access Denied » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:15 am

Zep Tepi wrote:1. Record Visitor Levels

:shock:

Zep Tepi wrote:2. Hosting Change

Smart move!

Zep Tepi wrote:3. Site Overhaul

I can’t wait either… like Ryan said it’s slick! I see you’ve snuck some nice color changes in while I wasn’t looking. You’ve been even busier than I already knew you were. :)

Zep Tepi wrote:4. Site Content

Excellent… even I was beginning to believe your highly anticipated report might never be released. :)

Zep Tepi wrote:…hopefully we will be able to entice Access Denied…

Hmm… never thought about doing something like that being somewhat podcast resistant (I’m probably one of the few musician types left who still doesn’t own an iPod based on principle alone) but now that you mention it, that might be fun. I just might be able to be convinced… ;)

Zep Tepi wrote:Thanks to everyone for contributing to Reality Uncovered, both members and non-members alike.

Absolutely! The range of our member’s contributions is what keeps me hooked and they’re always full of surprises…

Anyway, lots of changes in the works so a big thank you Steve for keeping this place running so smoothly!

Tom

P.S. Interesting proposals Ryan, I have a couple of articles I actually might go ahead and do now to help get the ball rolling…
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Postby Zep Tepi » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:27 pm

Change of plan:

The forums will be updated tonight (13th April). The board will go offline approx. 1 hour from the time of this post and will be back somewhere between 2 - 4 hours afterwards.

See you on the flip side! ;)

Cheers,
Steve
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Re: State of the RU Nation

Postby uberarcanist » Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:12 am

My God the new boards are !@#!#!@#! beautiful!!!! Massive kudos!
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Re: State of the RU Nation

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:34 am

Seriously great forum upgrade, Steve. Every hat I have is off to you! I'll even go so far as to say "woof".

8)
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Re: State of the RU Nation

Postby ScaRZ » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:33 pm

Great new RU look!!
In my opinion it is much easier on the eyes.
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Re: State of the RU Nation

Postby Zep Tepi » Fri May 09, 2008 2:25 am

Thanks for the kind words guys :)

Yet another update...

As mentioned in the Site Announcements section, the forum is now running on the dedicated server and I think it shows. Once the background picture has been loaded at least once, the response times in here seem a lot faster than before. Let's hope it stays that way!

I've made a couple of changes in the forum. As you can see the background picture has changed and now matches the main site, I'd be interested in reading what you think. I've also changed the colour of the dividing line between the post and the signature, making it much easier to see where one ends and the other begins. The search function has been overhauled (both here and on the main site) and all search results now load within RU. In addition to this, it has been tweaked slightly to return hits that are more relevant to the subjects here.

Last month saw us beat our visitor record again, with 62762 visitors to the site, beating the previous months record by 12000. This month is on course for a similar result too, so we must be doing something right.

Now that the site transformation is just about finished, we can concentrate all of our energies on finishing that impending report into Scammers Inc. In hindsight, perhaps I could have chosen a different word... ;) The Serpo section is also being updated, with one particular aspect of that investigation being crucial to the main report. Btw, I had a look at the old Serpo section the other day and was aghast at how much info has been left out. Time to tell the whole story...

If there's anything you'd like to see that isn't currently on the site, or indeed anything that you don't like about the new site - ALL comments are welcome.

Cheers,
Steve
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Re: State of the RU Nation

Postby Access Denied » Wed May 14, 2008 6:47 am

Zep Tepi wrote:If there's anything you'd like to see that isn't currently on the site, or indeed anything that you don't like about the new site - ALL comments are welcome.

OK then I don't know how attached you are to the background (very cool BTW) but I was wondering if we could try a little experiment? I have a theory it's slowing down IE (not sure about Firefox) on a couple of my lower end machines. Could we try it with just a solid background long enough for me to see if there's a difference?

BTW one of the coolest features of the new software I've noticed (well at first I thought it was a bug until I figured out what was happening lol) is that if you're composing a post and somebody else posts in the thread before you hit submit it previews it instead just in case you might want to change it in light of the new post.
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Re: State of the RU Nation

Postby MikeJamieson » Wed May 14, 2008 5:38 pm

I really like the look of the place. Really cool.

The Amazon ads are a good idea. People click on those and explore. I do, anyway.
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Re: State of the RU Nation

Postby Zep Tepi » Wed May 14, 2008 5:52 pm

Access Denied wrote:
Zep Tepi wrote:If there's anything you'd like to see that isn't currently on the site, or indeed anything that you don't like about the new site - ALL comments are welcome.

OK then I don't know how attached you are to the background (very cool BTW) but I was wondering if we could try a little experiment? I have a theory it's slowing down IE (not sure about Firefox) on a couple of my lower end machines. Could we try it with just a solid background long enough for me to see if there's a difference?


No problem, I'll create a clone of this style but without the background.

BTW one of the coolest features of the new software I've noticed (well at first I thought it was a bug until I figured out what was happening lol) is that if you're composing a post and somebody else posts in the thread before you hit submit it previews it instead just in case you might want to change it in light of the new post.


Yeah, I'm finding new bits and bobs every day :)

Cheers,
Steve
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