in

Love ItLove It

Seriously folks, do you know how hard it is to build a site like Virily?

I have run internet discussion groups for more than 30 years. I used to run a teaching group on the old pre-internet BBS systems. Back then you had your forum on a single BBS, and that BBS would replicate with the other bulletin board services. The Bitnet system moved data around the world pre-internet. The rise of the HTTP protocol which is the basis of the internet brought new kinds of forums. I ran forums on the AOL and CompuServe platforms. I had more than 15,000 members of my teaching society at its zenith. The only reason it stopped was that I left teaching and just didn’t the time anymore to focus on the group. That said I’ve been doing online posting, sharing and communicating for more than 30 years. In that time I have found three valuable things.

  1. There is nothing better than a good community sharing good information.
  2. There is more crap on the internet.
  3. Not knowing why something doesn’t work doesn’t put the platform at risk, it puts you at risk.

For example, let’s dissect a now-defunct platform, Niume. Niume used the moderator model, much like Mylot does today. Moderators could pull content at any time. A modern and model like Niume allows for a level of administrative control. The site was built on WordPress and used between 16 and 20 templates. The reason I am leaving variance in that is that at times there were more than 20 templates and at times there were less than 16 templates.

  • Each template used requires some level of management 9operations) and coding (original development). $
  • The first reality regarding costs is that the site has to be paid for. You have to go and buy a domain (niume.com). There is an annual cost for that. $$
  • Then you have to go to AWS, Google, Deutsche Telecom, Microsoft Azure, IBMCloud or some other hosting provider. Sadly, beyond that domain name, you have to pay for that. $$$
  • Then we have to build the site. What is the site going to do? Is it a site for sharing creative information like Niume? Oh wait, now beyond the original site we built, we have to figure out how available that site will be and storage we will need. Both of those cost money as well. $$$$

The next time you want to complain think about this first. Yes, the current state of Virily is painful when it comes to the dashboard. The rumors about the site are frustrating and not positive. But let’s stop for a second. Let’s understand how complex a site like this. Because building the site is hard. Getting set up with Google Adsense isn’t hard, but requires effort. Having authentication (social or username/password) requires maintenance.

Not to mention the reality of the admin and moderation team who has to read posts from people and verify that they are legit. The easy button here is for all of us to step back.

A wise person once told me “If you can’t make it yourself, you have to use something someone else made.” “If you don’t like what someone else made, the door is that way.”

  • Have you ever used bitnet?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Did you ever use a Listserv?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Did you participate in forums on AOL?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Did you participate in forums on CompuServe?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Do you own a domain name today?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Have you ever built a website with Google Adsense?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Have you ever bought and hosted a domain?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Have you ever built a web site that made money?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

8 points
Legend

Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.

30 Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. Hmmmm. The negativity started late 2017 or maybe early 2018 because I was still writing here when negative posts about the problem started. I was outside the radar so I can no longer relate.

    What to say? A reliable earning from writing is hardly viable, I guess, unless you are J. K. Rowlings or George R. R. Martin. Hence, one must have something more stable than writing for a site. Then payment issue will be of second importance.

    There are humans in both sides. And humans are complicated creature. Lol! Goodluck, Doc. Always, I admire your loyalty. Be it here or Niume.

  2. Users voted 9 times.
    Q: HAVE YOU EVER USED BITNET?
    No (10 votes) – 100%
    Q: DID YOU EVER USE A LISTSERV?
    Yes (1 votes) – 10%
    No (9 votes) – 90%
    Q: DID YOU PARTICIPATE IN FORUMS ON AOL?
    Yes (2 votes) – 22%
    No (7 votes) – 78%
    Q: DID YOU PARTICIPATE IN FORUMS ON COMPUSERVE?
    No (9 votes) – 100%
    Q: DO YOU OWN A DOMAIN NAME TODAY?
    Yes (4 votes) – 40%
    No (6 votes) – 60%
    Q: HAVE YOU EVER BUILT A WEBSITE WITH GOOGLE ADSENSE?
    Yes (1 votes) – 11%
    No (8 votes) – 89%
    Q: HAVE YOU EVER BOUGHT AND HOSTED A DOMAIN?
    Yes (4 votes) – 44%
    No (5 votes) – 56%
    Q: HAVE YOU EVER BUILT A WEB SITE THAT MADE MONEY?
    Yes (1 votes) – 13%
    No (7 votes) – 88%

  3. I want to ask how many members of virily are participants in the clickasnap? I’m there in 2016. Many people thought it would not exist, but it exists. All the novices slow down his pace, but he goes forward. To get the payment limit was 25 dollars. Now it is 15 which for me as a completely ignorant in this field has good results.
    I want to ask everyone – have someone to whom virily has not repaid his money (although the dashboard is not updated every day).

    Give a virily chance and he’ll pay us for it.

  4. I’m back. I have no idea what it takes to do this from the admins point of view, so thank you for enlightening me. I do agree we are part of the problem with communication. I read all the comments so far, and you are right about us shutting down the communication on both IM and FB. You beat an animal enough and it wont come back…
    I am guilty of not trusting the site will be around for years, just because of the other sites, and not anything to do with Virily. Although the lack of communication is deafening at times, and has scared me as well.
    I think they should put that banner up, who complained about that? You said it wasnt well received. Even if it is just to say, WE are working on it.
    Just like Albert said there are two sides of the coin if one side is missing it is worthless, unless you want to just toss it into a wishing well.

    • The complaints came from the people that are complaining now that the site doesn’t communicate well.

      There were about 10 authors (that don’t write here anymore) that complained in a couple of forums about the banners. That was when the admin team was responding to comments, and they stopped the banner.

      There are always two sides to the coin. I am just making sure everyone understand how hard the dashboard and guest view problems really are.

  5. Reading this, I can only say that everything always has two sides, and both are complementary. Removing one side of the coin makes the other side worthless. Refusing to use one side makes the money useless.

    I really love Virily, and I hope this site is getting better and bigger, thanks to the in tune collaboration between the two sides.

      • Hearing discordant sounds is indeed unpleasant, but it’s hard to forbid them to sing, especially if they like to sing and don’t realize the quality of their vocals. Maybe we can give a few suggestions – like you do – so they can sing better, but still, that’s their decision.

        However, I fully support your intentions and purpose, for the sake of this community.

        • I truly want them to sing as well. I suspect, however, that we are losing any remaining connection to the admin team because of the discordant singing.

          Kim said it so much better than I ever could “if you beat a dog long enough they won’t come back.”

          • I have never read a variety of songs about Virily in other forums, and have never been interested, but I believe that discordant singing certainly affects the attitude of the admin, and I regret that it happened.

            I have read all the comments here, and Kim’s opinion too. Maybe the dog won’t come back, but still, they will howl elsewhere.

        • My hope (or perhaps to celebrate Martin Luther King a day after) dream. That people will consider both sides. In their frustration with the admins, they will step back and realize what a hard job they have. Then, the admins in suddenly no longer ducking to avoid slings and arrows will realize that the site doesn’t exist without the authors.

          That we can openly communicate, about issues, about things that work and about ways to make both communities (admin and authors) better!

          • I have the same hope as you, and really understand that there is strong interdependence here. It will much better if both interested parties can better understand each other about it, and make joint efforts in harmony for the common interests.

  6. Doc, I’ve to disagree with some of the things you said here, in regards to Virily. I hope you don’t find this offensive but since you’ve come from a “technical/site owner” POV, I’d like to throw in the users’ POV (at least for me and probably some others) because I do feel its unfair if the users get blamed for “not being understanding”.

    While I could understand its not easy to make a website, but then most things aren’t easy. I won’t say that writing a post or making quizzes (Look at Kim’s quizzes) are easy either – it’ll at least take time and effort, and at times its partly due to Virily’s “bugs” we lost some of our post and have to retype. For that could we ask Virily to be understanding and not reject any of our posts? I know Virily should still do the QC, this could be a bad example.

    For the dashboard issue, the users are uneasy, they don’t know if their efforts will get rewarded (and to be honest, probably the number of users here just for money is more than we thought). They’re trying to get the assurance they need but the admin is not willing to give any respond.

    I know its not easy to maintain and run a site, but then communication isn’t that difficult. I don’t think they can’t add a div tag or such somewhere visible or post a post (I know Virily editor do post posts here) regarding the problem or a simple, “We know about the dashboard problem, we’re working on it”. I remember they once did the tag which notify users of updates and stuffs, and there are lots of positivity about that communication even its just one line and then not even explaining the situation/problem.

    Many users just want that assurance to stay positive and know we aren’t being dump on an island with no help available! But as you can see there is none. Virily isn’t bad and is definitely improving, but they can try making more communication.

    • So let me ask you these questions.

      1. First of all if you don’t understand how complex a site like this and you complain is it fair to the admins to have to filter useless information>
      2. have you been paid? By US law that makes you a 1099 employee. In the EU that makes you a (I believe) a contractor without benefits. In either case, employment is the agreement between you and the site. Are you holding up your end of that?
      3. Finally, while I do appreciate you adding the user view to this post I am not sure it has any relevance to this post.

      You can certainly bring up the many many users that are frustrated because the DASHBOARD doesn’t tell us if we are getting paid. It bothers me as well.

      You can bring up the fact that the admins don’t communicate. I would ask do the admins of CNN.Com communicate with you when their site is down? The admin team used to put banners on the top of the page, so many users complained they stopped doing that.

      So we, as a user population turned off one of their modes of communication.

      The other mode of communication the Virily team had was the Facebook group. They used (the admins) to regularly respond to questions on that list. But, it turned into a very negative why Virily is dying list. So the admins stopped responding to that.

      So while I do feel sympathy for users of the site, I also know that we are part of the problem.

      Your kind post is filled with empathy for the other writers on the site. That is great and you should feel that. Where is your empathy for the other side?

      • I guess I wouldn’t want to continue this conversation for I see it going nowhere. And I’m sorry its irrelevant. Maybe I read your post the wrong way.

        I just want to say this, the “humans” are on both sides – the users and site runners. Do one side need more empathy than the other? IDK. Anyway, now, I don’t really care.

        Thank you for the information about labour law though.

        • Interesting.

          I was simply pointing in my post that while it is difficult to be a blogger, and it takes time, it took a lot more time to build the site.

          I see so much negative on various groups about Virily, and so little positive. Read Kim’s comment about beating a dog enough that it never comes back.

  7. It’s funny today I was thinking about Virily before I read your post. I factored why there are some issues and remembered reading how to set up a hosted blog or website and the money it costs. Not forgetting web designer and how to remain afloat on the web.

    We have to give it time because it takes time for a site to be stable without glitches.

    My verdict: Virily is a reliable site that isn’t going to fade into thin air anytime sooner. I know it will stay. I hope so.

Leave a Reply