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Georgia Tech Sports Forum

cmpe

Active member
#1
The Georgia Tech Swarm was launched last Wednesday. It's a forum dedicated to Georgia Tech sports fans. Compared to some of the bigger universities, GT is comparatively small and likewise so is our fanbase but we're still passionate fans. The site is not for profit at all; it's dedicated to GT fans by GT fans.

This forum was actually started at forumotion (basically a free forum hosting service) by another passionate GT fan and I saw an opportunity to partner up with him to launch something significantly better. We were initially going to launch with either phpBB or FluxBB but decided that we were in it for the long-haul and wanted to start with a more forward-thinking forum platform and Xenforo came out on top.

The migration was done using a scraper python script that I found at phpBB to convert forumotion into phpBB3. Then used xenforo's import functionality. Once we converted everyone over to Xenforo, we asked all users to get their password reset since the two-level migration didn't maintain passwords. The problem was that apparently forumotion recognizes scraping attempts and converts the email addresses into an image to prevent scraping the data. We were able to reset the email address simply by copy-pasting to a google spreadsheet and generating "update" SQL queries that we ran manually on the xenforo database to update all user email addresses.

Anyway, I'm very glad that we decided to go with xenforo. It's been extremely easy to use and customize.

Check us at at http://gtswarm.com/

Thanks
 
#2
Welcome to Xenforo!

As someone that has done sports forums for over a decade, I'd work on getting a custom logo done. You'll likely get a C&D in the mail from the CLC in the future if your board grows. Heck, I even got them for custom logos that they believed were too similar to the original. I have, however, always been able to get away with using official logos as forum icons. If you have any questions about how to grow your forum or how I did things, feel free to shoot me a PM.
 

cmpe

Active member
#3
Welcome to Xenforo!

As someone that has done sports forums for over a decade, I'd work on getting a custom logo done. You'll likely get a C&D in the mail from the CLC in the future if your board grows. Heck, I even got them for custom logos that they believed were too similar to the original. I have, however, always been able to get away with using official logos as forum icons. If you have any questions about how to grow your forum or how I did things, feel free to shoot me a PM.
Thanks. I did do some research on logo usage and just as long as it is for non-commercial purposes, we just have to request permission to use the logo. We submitted the request over a week ago and haven't gotten a response back though.
 
#4
Thanks. I did do some research on logo usage and just as long as it is for non-commercial purposes, we just have to request permission to use the logo. We submitted the request over a week ago and haven't gotten a response back though.
Yeah, I always got denied when I made requests. Hopefully it works out for you.
 

Shelley

Well-known member
#7
I think some work could be done to the tablinks and selected tab area since it seems drowned out against the header colour. Then again, it might be easier slightly adjusting the header background-color.

  1. Change the node icons for something custom
  2. Change the icon quick nav trigger or re-colour it to something more suitable (the icon that resides within breadcrumbs to the far right).
Overall a nice looking style but with some minor enhancements here and there it'll look a lot better. Really liking the logo excellent job with this. (y)
 

Jeff Fuqua

Well-known member
#8
I agree with Shelley. Some small things can really give it some uniqueness.

I'll be interested in whether or not GT gives you permission to use the logo. I've not heard of any doing it before so let us know how it turns out.

The board name is cool so you could do something nice with some type if you do end up creating something (which I would recommend).
 

cmpe

Active member
#9
I think some work could be done to the tablinks and selected tab area since it seems drowned out against the header colour. Then again, it might be easier slightly adjusting the header background-color.

  1. Change the node icons for something custom
  2. Change the icon quick nav trigger or re-colour it to something more suitable (the icon that resides within breadcrumbs to the far right).
Overall a nice looking style but with some minor enhancements here and there it'll look a lot better. Really liking the logo excellent job with this. (y)
Thanks Shelley. I'm still learning the different names for different elements so I'll need to look up the things you are pointing out. :)
I'll be interested in whether or not GT gives you permission to use the logo. I've not heard of any doing it before so let us know how it turns out.
Yea, we'll see. It doesn't seem like reviewing such requests are on top of their priority list (not surprisingly). Maybe I'll get auto-rejected because I started using it before getting permission...
 

wcbryant

Active member
#10
Welcome to Xenforo!

As someone that has done sports forums for over a decade, I'd work on getting a custom logo done. You'll likely get a C&D in the mail from the CLC in the future if your board grows. Heck, I even got them for custom logos that they believed were too similar to the original. I have, however, always been able to get away with using official logos as forum icons. If you have any questions about how to grow your forum or how I did things, feel free to shoot me a PM.
Had to chime in here since it provoked a chuckle, Svoboda is exactly right. Mine is an Ohio State site, and they will send out C&Ds if your color values are too close to theirs; forget about using any design elements or fonts that come close to the logos. There was a point where even having the term Buckeye in the URL provoked some action, but they had to back off of that one.

That said, I hope they (GaTech) approve your request, even as I'll recommend that you plan on crafting your own. As the school won't be able to dictate the shape and tone of how your forum represents them, they're likely to want distance and deniability. Something the official logo doesn't afford.

I don't fault the universities at all for protecting their intellectual property and (more to the point) their image. Fan forums can sometimes be black eyes, and not enough of them really go far enough to prevent that.

Should tOSU and GaTech ever face off in basketball or, less likely, football, I'll definitely send a few friendly eyeballs your way.

Congrats, and good luck with the site, @cmpe.
 
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cmpe

Active member
#11
Had to chime in here since it provoked a chuckle, Svoboda is exactly right. Mine is an Ohio State site, and they will send out C&Ds if your color values are too close to theirs; forget about using any design elements or fonts that come close to the logos. There was a point where even having the term Buckeye in the URL provoked some action, but they had to back off of that one.
Curious, did OSU have a licensing FAQ that said anything like this?
A license must be obtained by anyone who uses the name or marks of the Georgia Institute of Technology for a commercial purpose. Non-commercial uses of Georgia Tech trademarks may not require a license but do require permission. The use of a Georgia Tech mark in advertisements, motion pictures, and on promotional items also requires a licensing fee.
When I read that in the official FAQ, I felt optimistic. But now I see your point about distancing themselves since they have no control of the content.

Thanks for the advice.
 

wcbryant

Active member
#12
Curious, did OSU have a licensing FAQ that said anything like this?
I started mine a little over a decade ago, and at that point Ohio State (and many larger schools) still had their head buried in the sand when it came to the Internet. So while they had ample licensing documents and policies in place, none of it (at that time) spoke to websites. Now they do have a policy and it's pretty simple: "no". :)
 

cmpe

Active member
#13
I started mine a little over a decade ago, and at that point Ohio State (and many larger schools) still had their head buried in the sand when it came to the Internet. So while they had ample licensing documents and policies in place, none of it (at that time) spoke to websites. Now they do have a policy and it's pretty simple: "no". :)
lol. I see.

Wouldn't be surprised if the request gets rejected now that I've heard the experiences you guys have had.

I'll still cross my fingers though because of how small GT is compared to the bigger schools.

In fact, I might as well just remove the logos for now until they get back to me, if they ever.

Thanks for the advice guys.
 

wcbryant

Active member
#14
I'll still cross my fingers though because of how small GT is compared to the bigger schools.
Definitely, you don't know until you know.

Were I in a similar boat I might run a logo contest at digitalpoint.com (forums>buy, sell, trade>contests) or a similar resource. You have as much input into the design as you want, can make corrections, and it seems to be a cost effective way (many contests are run for 20 or so) to have several often talented artists competing to make a logo that excites you.

In fact, 'swarm' is so distinctive that there are some really interesting possibilities there, I think.
 

Shelley

Well-known member
#15
Thanks Shelley. I'm still learning the different names for different elements so I'll need to look up the things you are pointing out. :)

Yea, we'll see. It doesn't seem like reviewing such requests are on top of their priority list (not surprisingly). Maybe I'll get auto-rejected because I started using it before getting permission...
I think the easiest method would be to venture into style properties and alter the background-colour slightly.

Appearance >> Style Properties >> Header & Navigation >> Header and alter the background-color.

header-SP.png
 

cmpe

Active member
#16
I think the easiest method would be to venture into style properties and alter the background-colour slightly.

Appearance >> Style Properties >> Header & Navigation >> Header and alter the background-color.

View attachment 51197
Ah! I see what you mean now. Should've read it little bit more carefully.

The reason why I created the yellow/gold background was basically to make an impression on GT fans that visit for the first time. Personally, I think the yellow is a bit too much (although I've gotten used to it).

So, I actually have a different style that users can select called "Light" that basically makes the header background white. :)
 

Brent W

Well-known member
#19
I've been to two Georgia Tech games as a friend is an Alumni. One versus Virginia Tech in Atlanta and the other in the Orange Bowl vs Iowa. Nice site :)