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Possible Future Project

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Caliburn, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. Caliburn

    Caliburn Well-Known Member

    Well, my buddy and I are about to start a project and we're not sure which 'solution' would be best for what we want to do. So, I'm going around and asking current and former webmasters their opinions. Figured I'd do the same thing here and see what you XenForo loyalists have to say.

    My best friend and I are both cross-country truck drivers and we've been thinking about starting a project. I'm sure a good portion of you have seen “Ice Road Truckers” and I admit, it's a really good show. However it seems to only show the typical public's perception of what trucking really is and never really explains the bad side to it, nor does it show the trials and tribulations we face daily.

    So, we're thinking about starting an online blog of sorts. Complete with daily video documentaries, photos, tweets, and even weekly written blogs. We want to give the public a complete 100% intimate and uncensored look into the life of a truck driver and the trucking industry as a whole. The trials and tribulations we face, how we're treated as second class citizens, how stupid other driver's can be when they're around us on the highway, and what have you. Just … everything! We want to show you the good and the bad.

    We've been considering using Wordpress for our project and hiring a custom designer/coder to fulfill our needs. We're thinking about using Vimeo Plus for the video service and possibly Flickr for the photography we share (although this portion may be self-hosted). Twitter for the random tweets we post from our cellulars which also appear on our website. Everything will be tied into it.

    So, we've been considering Wordpress because we've both seen some rather amazing work done with it. However we're also discussing ExpressionEngine and Movable Type. We're even considering a forum. Neither one of us are true webmasters and have never done something like this. I've operated a few forums in the past but that's about it. We can't monitor the website constantly and are concerned about security. We don't want to be surprised and find out some 'script kiddie' has decided to exploit our system and screw us over completely. We're actually considering using SSL for login's, even. We're wondering if one solution is better than another for our needs and if one is actually 'safer' than another.

    What system do you guys recommend for such a project? We're going to be using a Digital SLR (Nikon), a High-Definition Camcorder (JVC), and a Laptop. We're also going to be using our cellulars in this project as well (Facebook & Twitter).

    So what do you guys think? Any idea's?
     
  2. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

    Wordpress if wanting multi-author blog stuff, now available in version 3. Very easy to Administer and update, we're talking single button clicks.

    Xen if wanting the equivalent forum product that is not going to require a steep learning curve.

    Interestingly the perception of truck drivers Down Under ain't that good, given the number of accidents they are involved in, and the share *******ary involving them in country areas. So you might like to get an alternative opinion, or not.
     
  3. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    I love WordPress for it's ease of use and for it's easy customisation abilities. Anything you want to do in the ACP is just so easy!

    Employ or find a volunteer to help you admin the site, and do necessary security upgrades etc. There are a great many technically savvy people who would enjoy doing this, and even if you went with a professional service, they are in my experience usually very reasonable (from around $30 per month)

    Self host your images if possible, nothing spells amateur hour quicker than hosted images that you have to go to a secondary site with ads on etc... just purchase sufficiently large hosting that this won't be an issue and upload to your own site :)

    Best of luck with the project!!!
     
  4. Caliburn

    Caliburn Well-Known Member

    "Down Under" makes me think you're talking about Australia. :D

    The thing is, truck drivers are highly trained. In most cases, we're the safest drivers on the road in a car and a truck. The problem is, you can't stop a truck that size on a dime. People cut us off, and act completely stupid around a truck. We drive for you. We're trained to. It is our job to predict what you're going to do before you do it. We're trained to do this. 75% of accidents are caused by the four wheelers and not by the truck drivers.

    Your opinion is exactly why my buddy and I think this idea of ours will be a good thing. The American people don't really understand the trucking industry or the vital role it plays in our country. I dare say it's the most important industry in the entire country and we're underpaid, treated like second-class citizens, and pre-judged.
     
  5. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

    Yeap Australia. And when you get a truck hurtling up in your rear view mirror at about 20 klicks over the speed limit, with as you say very little chance of stopping on a dime then it makes you wonder. Not wanting to get into an argument here on it, just pointing out two sides to every story. Think your site would definitely be of value in giving your side of the story, which quite probably doesn't get the coverage it should.
     
  6. Brandon_R

    Brandon_R Guest

    If you have the time, custom script.
     
  7. Caliburn

    Caliburn Well-Known Member

    I can't speak for Australian truck drivers, but here in the states ... we're the 2nd most heavily regulated industry in the country. The only other industry which is bound by more regulations is the nuclear industry and it's damn close.

    Why 'custom script'? The dollar signs for this project ... they're rising. And rising. Convince me. :eek:
     
  8. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

    Not entirely sure of the regulations here, but given some of the cowboys involved I would imagine the truck lobby is pretty powerful.

    Might not be of interest, but we have these things charging around the outback

    roadtrain.jpg
     
  9. Caliburn

    Caliburn Well-Known Member

    We know all about the 'centipedes'. Something like that will never be allowed here in the States, though. They're needed in Australia. I'm fairly certain Australia is far more relaxed with their truck drivers. Then again, they operate in the Outback. ;)
     

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  10. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    Our trucks are meant to be limited to 100 km/hour maximum, and yet I regularily get overtaken on the freeway by trucks when I am doing the speed limit of 110 or slightly over.

    There is too much pressure on Truckies here to get jobs done quickly rather than safely... driver fatigue is a huge issue.

    I do get your point about stupid drivers whipping in front of trucks though, I see that all the time.
     
  11. Onimua

    Onimua Well-Known Member

    Holy crap I didn't know anything above an 18-wheeler existed! :eek:

    I have to say I've seen one to many bad truck drivers here, but I have to admit maybe my sample isn't the best as I'm in Miami and everyone knows Florida has the worst drivers in the country. What an award for us. :(

    I think this sounds like an awesome idea. I haven't watched Ice Road Truckers actually, and don't really plan to. I sort of don't like the "let's suddenly toss on reality tv but still try to make it educational/informative" route Discovery has been taking lately. But having a site run by truckers for truckers without someone editing content/information to keep ratings high sounds awesome. :)

    I'm sure you could even have truckers help other truckers by offering advice when travelling through different parts of the country and whatnot.
     
  12. Caliburn

    Caliburn Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure how the driver's are paid over there or what regulations the Australian driver's are governed under, but here in the States we get paid by the mile and are constantly delayed at the shipper/receiver. So we're always pressed for time.

    Well this website will be run by two truckers, me and my best friend. And it's to document our lifestyle, trials, and issues we face. To give anybody who is interested an intimate, raw, and uncensored look into the life of a truck driver. We're not really interested in involving other truckers unless we do a video interview with another one.
     
  13. feldon30

    feldon30 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely no reason to do a custom script. Not sure why it was suggested. :confused::(

    I'd recommend Wordpress with some plugins (especially WP-SpamFree) and just use the comment system. If you've got iPhones or Android, then it's easy to post short updates from the phone to Wordpress including photos. I've covered entire conferences using an iPhone posting to Wordpress.

    As the site grows, you could add a XenForo forum community in addition to the Wordpress site for people to have general discussion. But your most intense feedback will be comments directly on articles which are posted by truckers.

    As for videos, the hard part is not finding the website, the hard part is finding the authoring tools and workflow on your laptop to make it very easy to take a raw video, cut it, shrink it, and upload it. Last thing you want to try to do on the road is push a 1GB video file over Edge or spotty 3G service up to a website and then edit it there. So far, I'm limping along with some pretty weak video editing/conversion software in this regard.
     
  14. Caliburn

    Caliburn Well-Known Member

    Thanks Feldon for your thoughts. We are strongly considering a highly modified Wordpress installation as it seems to be the most popular suggestion and goes along with what we're thinking about to begin with. I'm nervous about 3rd-Party plugins personally because the coding is always different. We have a few idea's for the plugins we want but I'm thinking they'll be custom scripted by the designer we choose.

    We both have Android phones and we'll use them for Twitter updates, Facebook updates, and what have you. We are pretty sure that each of our weekly blogs will be typed on the laptop during our respective 10hr breaks through-out the week as we want them to be of high quality.

    We do want a forum and will probably add one but neither of us have decided on what to use and when as of yet for the forum solution. It really depends on how popular our blog were to become. If it's extremely popular and there is demand, I'd have no problem shelling out for a good product like XenForo.

    We agree the video aspect will be the most difficult part but I'm fairly comfortable with Final Cut Express and given that we want our videos to be raw and uncensored, we don't think we'll be doing much cutting. They'll be a lot like home movies. Video blogs, so to speak. We'll occasionally step it up for some unique piece (we've got a few in mind) where we'll be doing some cutting and editing, but I think for the most part it'll go fairly easily. Uploading them to Vimeo on a decent connection will be the real trick but there are plenty of Wi-Fi area's out there. And I'm not above piggybacking on somebodies wireless connection without them knowing. ;)
     
    Dragonfly and feldon30 like this.
  15. captainslater

    captainslater Well-Known Member

    This sounds like a very interesting project. Looking forward to read something about trucking.
     
  16. Caliburn

    Caliburn Well-Known Member

    Sweet. Our first follower. :D
     
  17. Brandon_R

    Brandon_R Guest

    This could be something i might read because i like trucks and in general big machines like the space shuttle carrier and long trucks etc. They really show what mankind can accomplish.
     
  18. jmurrayhead

    jmurrayhead Well-Known Member

    One of my biggest gripes about truckers is when you're on a two lane highway and there is a line of trucks in the right lane...then, the last truck just HAS to pull into the left lane and take 20 minutes to pass the others...and was it all worth it? No...because you're not going any faster than you were when you were at the end of the line.

    Besides that...it really does piss me off when some dumb ass driver cuts a trucker off or gives obscene expressions because he/she is going the speed limit instead of speeding. Everyone should be thankful that I'm not a trucker, because if I had to put up with half the crap they do, I'd end up seriously hurting someone.

    On that note, I think the project itself sounds interesting...don't think I could dedicate time to being a regular subscriber or anything...but it definitely may have a market out there. As for which system to use, I have never heard of the other two you mentioned, but I'm quite fond of WordPress, especially because of its easy setup. Good luck!
     
  19. Lycaon

    Lycaon Well-Known Member

    I have an HGV license although I don't get to drive ours too often but I do love annoying the snot out of other drivers by sticking to the 40/50mph limit.

    Also being a lorry driver I love it when driving my car and another HGV driver comes tight up my arse trying to intimidate me. On a lot of people it works but I just carry on going at a decent speed, then floor it and then slow down again, they soon learn to leave enough room so as to not have to put a condom on one of the vehicles.
     

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