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A reply to The Mares Nest
07-03-2012, 12:36 PM
Post: #1
A reply to The Mares Nest
I've just read this post over at The Mares Nest and I just wanted to say thanks to them for taking the time to report on these forums over the years, and I also wanted to just clarify a few things.

Firstly my excuses (which I admit, are pretty poor). The decline of the forum was entirely my fault. Real life got in the way and I didn't manage my time as well as I should have. I changed jobs which meant I didn't have any time during the day to work on the site (shh, don't tell my old boss!). I had a quickly growing child which understandably required my focus, plus I got married. All good things for me, but regrettably I let the forums suffer as a result. Only recently with the requests of WaffenThinMint et al has made me realise that the forums still have life in them and with my second child on the way at the end of this month, it was time to entrust the admin side of the forums to someone with the passion required to make a go of it again - thank you WaffenThinMint!

The move to the new forum software (from SMF to myBB) with hindsight was a mistake, my mistake. My not so genius plan was to move to something with more features and better spam prevention. Clearly that didn't work and in doing so we lost many feature that you guys loved. So again, sorry about that. I have tried a few times to migrate back again, but both times it failed so I thought I'd give this software a go, and it seems to be working well, performance wise.

Over the past few months with the great work by WaffenThinMint, Cororon, breebree711, simman23 & gothika (apologies if I missed anyone, all the members here are brilliant) the forums have started taking shape again. The spam has been removed and with plenty of anti-spam plugins installed doesn't seem to be such a problem anymore, the new (old) logo has given the place the 'good times' feel back to it and things are looking up. Also the rearranged/tidied up forum structure (all down to WaffenThinMint) has made things 'work'.

So thank you to you all and sorry again for my crappy running of the forums over the past few years. Hopefully with WaffenThinMint in charge (I'm still in control of the geeky technical stuff, so any problems in that respect blame me) the future is looking bright again. Just wait until Sims 4 is release, it'll be like 2008 all over again!

I'm always happy to help! If you need anything, just send me a personal message (PM) and I'll try help if I can...
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07-03-2012, 02:42 PM
Post: #2
RE: A reply to The Mares Nest
Well, let's hope we get the forum going back to the way it was in when I first joined. Or even better.
I really miss the times when we were doing legacies and life stories with TS2. It was hilarious.

Good luck, Sims Forums! Wink

Maybe advertise a bit? (as if we don't get enough of it)
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07-03-2012, 03:41 PM (This post was last modified: 07-03-2012 09:14 PM by Minty.)
Post: #3
RE: A reply to The Mares Nest
Do I hear my name getting mentioned? Biggrin

As everyone can now see, the war against the spammers has been won. They are still attempting to come back, but they will not succeed.

One action I have taken is removed the registration questions that were in place, as they were too easy for an autobot to register with (one was a 50/50, requiring only "Yes" or "No" to get through). I have replaced the existing questions with quotes from a certain book series dear to the hearts of so many on here that anyone attempting to register must complete before they can join. This system appears to work well on other websites in thwarting auto-registration, and anyone with a quarter of a brain ought to know how to Google to find out the answer if they don't know it.

All the crap in the database is getting pruned as and when I have the time (with there being 32000 users to check, it could take some time!). Going into the members lists and seeing loads of banned or registered-but-never-posted users is offputting to newcomers looking to see if their friends have joined. Starting from most recent registrations and working back, I am clearing out the deadwood.

Already, all the accounts with “Viagra” in their name are deleted, along with the accounts with post counts in the minus (ie. spambots that posted and had their spamposts erased). I have tried IP and e-mail banning various banned accounts before deleting them, but this was taking too much time up for very little return; besides which, the new registration questions should prevent them coming back.

In the future, all banned accounts (bar two, for our readers' amusement) will be deleted, and all current banned accounts will be pruned in due course.

Any accounts where users have not activated will be deleted after being given a reasonable length of time to do so. This will allow people to reregister that found themselves unable to complete their registration for legitimate reasons. I know from past experience how tempremental this site's login can be on occasions!

Any accounts where users have activated, failed to post, and not logged in since the day they joined will be deleted. Again, these users will be free to rejoin at a later date (and be able to use that name again!). I'm well aware some will have joined when this place remained a pig's breakfast and saw no good reason to join in. This allows them a second chance.

Any lapsed accounts (ie. users that have not posted for some considerable time) will NOT be deleted. They are always welcome to return.

Any accounts where users have activated, failed to post, but whose accounts show they have been logging in after the day they joined will NOT be deleted. I'm well aware people like Omri123 and others from the official forum and elsewhere use Sims Forums as a way of messaging their friends in the Sims community, same as some joined Missing Studios only for the same (or for one of their famous signatures).


As they're keeping our forum activity levels in Google Analytics up in a positive way, they are welcome to stay, and any others wishing to join Sims Forums to do the same are free to do so. But it would be lovely if you guys posted sometime!


Finally, a big thank you for the last few months especially to Cororon, breebree711, Ollie/simman23, for sticking it out for so long instead of giving up, to Rachy/Purple_Penguin00, LRM09 and Crazycatdly for giving the place a much needed boost, to [removed]/gothikaand EarthGirl/EarthMama for giving the place another shot after so many past disappointments, and to everyone else that's kept the place alive over the last year. The good times are coming back.
Oh, and I'll give you Mares buggers "WaffenThinMince " - hit you with my manbag, so I will! Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue

Egyptiandance Wacko Fryingpan

[Image: 135762.jpg]
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07-03-2012, 03:57 PM
Post: #4
RE: A reply to The Mares Nest
I've just viewed the registration questions - I couldn't answer any of those without the help of Google! Don't you think there should be some, well, easier questions in there for those of us who aren't into the same type of books?! Maybe some Sims related questions? Or some general knowledge questions? Anything that isn't multiple choice should stop the bots so it doesn't need to be too hard.

Or maybe I'm just an idiot...

I'm always happy to help! If you need anything, just send me a personal message (PM) and I'll try help if I can...
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07-03-2012, 09:35 PM
Post: #5
RE: A reply to The Mares Nest
The idea of the questions is that if you don't know the answers, all you have to do is Google - something automated spam accounts registering programs aren't sophisticated enough yet to do. Only real people.

The previous questions were all one word answers. Even the "Type the following letters in one sentence, "C", "A" and "T" can now be beaten by modern spambot auto registration programs, which can detect registration questions that already give the answer for the user to type in or those requiring the answering of a simple arithmetic problem, (eg. "what is 2+4?").

It's a lot harder, in fact near impossible for current spam programs to be able to auto-answer questions requiring answering a question of more than one word, that has to be done manually. But the problem with an answer of more than one word is that there's a lot of ways someone can give a correct answer but using different words - that's why asking users to complete a quote works so well as it has to be exactly the correct wording, which they can easily Google up.

We can but give it a try and see what happens.

Egyptiandance Wacko Fryingpan

[Image: 135762.jpg]
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09-03-2012, 01:38 AM
Post: #6
RE: A reply to The Mares Nest
I'd like to pipe up and say a few words as well.

Matt, don't blame yourself 'entirely' for the decline of the forums. You were supposed to have support from Bambi and Myself (originally), we knew you had things to deal with in your personal life, and that's what we were here to help out for. I will admit that sometimes we did feel rather helpless due to restrictions (for example, one Friday something glitched which made members have Moderator permissions, and you were gone for the weekend, we had to try and keep everyone from going mad with the tools) but I would say for the most part we handled things fairly well. I suppose after the domain changed from '', we got less people registering, but obviously that's not all to blame. I don't think we got enough promo out there either, something which looking back on, we could have worked so much better at doing.

Then Bambi kept disappearing due to things happening in her life, and to this day I don't even know much about what happened, and I don't have a clue what Bambi is doing with her life now, I haven't spoken to her in over a year. Bat was then announced as a Moderator, so this kept things steady and things were being handled mostly around the clock.

I saw my name mentioned a few times in that article written by The Mares Nest, of which were quite laughable. Yes, I did leave the forums, perhaps unattended...I'm not sure, my understanding was that we still had Moderators to cover things. As with everyone that has left, life just got in the way. I had things to do, decisions to make, and to be honest, I just lost all interest in The I saw no reason to log on anymore. I did think my Moderator status would have been revoked, but it still appears to be intact.

I'd like to say Congratulations to the new members of Staff here, I'm really pleased that you've seen SimsForums through to where we are currently at. I would have liked to have stayed, but I just lost interest in The Sims. I'm sure you have all been doing a fantastic job, and will continue to do so. I hope you can raise awareness of the forums once again and raise it to a status that these forums were at all those years ago.

Coming Soon...
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13-03-2012, 11:52 PM
Post: #7
RE: A reply to The Mares Nest
I don't think you were entirely at fault either, a lot of people were just too lazy/busy to get on the forums all the time (like me Confused).

On a side note, I've always wanted to be mentioned on The Mares Nest Tongue

March 17, 2008 - September 7, 2008
September 1, 2009 - present
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16-03-2012, 10:27 PM
Post: #8
RE: A reply to The Mares Nest
d'awh. I admit. I have to remind myself to get onto her. and because most of the teachers(and myself) are slowly becoming lazy because graduation is creeping by. I no longer have an excuse. so I shall try my best Big Grin

p.s I hope they don't have Sims 4 -__- I think they'll just revise the entire previous games' expansion packs.

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