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[Suggestion] Operating hours for a forum

Walter

Well-known member
#1
It would be cool if there was an admin option to specify operating hours for the forum.

Why? Simply to turn off registration during certain hours (option 1) or to switch the forum to read only mode (option 2). Reasons:
  • One of my forums is for children and the moderators have to closely monitor the forum not only for spammers but also for adults in disguise, often registering at hours when children are at sleep.
  • At my largest forum we had one month where trolls where hitting us hard, they where extremely persistent, they knew our mods where pretty good at banning them during normal hours (7 am to 11 pm) but we all need some sleep from time to time
  • Corporate forums which simply don't like to clean up a forum from nightly spam
Don't forget, if you like this idea click on the "Like" button!
 

Walter

Well-known member
#3
I doubt that most forums have international users. How many people only know their first language good enough to communicate fluently? :)
By far the most forums target native speakers. 
 

Walter

Well-known member
#4
BTW, this could be even good for doing backups (depending on your backup method it sometime helps if the forum is readonly)
 

Steve10

Well-known member
#5
I doubt that most forums have international users. How many people only know their first language good enough to communicate fluently? :)
By far the most forums target native speakers.
I'd say that's not true especially large business who use forum software, most target their forums internationally in order to create the largest appeal, I know mine certainly does. A downtime is good but I think only the slimist minority of forums would find it useful.
 

Onimua

Well-known member
#7
I doubt that most forums have international users. How many people only know their first language good enough to communicate fluently? :)
By far the most forums target native speakers.
When you create a site it's not like it's only available for people who live in that timezone. People search and your site could show up in results somewhere else. It doesn't seem like a good idea to block off people unless you have a good reason and even then, those cases are rare and would result in this being better as a modification.
 

Enigma

Well-known member
#8
Why? Simply to turn off registration during certain hours (option 1) or to switch the forum to read only mode (option 2).
I think this would be best suited for a modification. And wouldn't be hard to do.

When you create a site it's not like it's only available for people who live in that timezone. People search and your site could show up in results somewhere else. It doesn't seem like a good idea to block off people unless you have a good reason and even then, those cases are rare and would result in this being better as a modification.
Depends on what your site is for. If you create BasketWeavingForums.com, then you're likely right. If you create a forum for students of your local elementary school only, then Walter is right.
 

Onimua

Well-known member
#10
Depends on what your site is for. If you create BasketWeavingForums.com, then you're likely right. If you create a forum for students of your local elementary school only, then Walter is right.
I said there are some that might make use of "operating hours," but that number is likely to be small and can't be justified to be a default feature within XF.
 

anotheralias

Well-known member
#11
One of my forums is for children and the moderators have to closely monitor the forum not only for spammers but also for adults in disguise, often registering at hours when children are at sleep.
I can totally see why you would want this, but it's a very topic-specific thing, or maybe user-specific... I think something with that kind of a niche use ought to be done by the modding community.

(I bet the modding community loves how I'm shoving off all these things on them.) :D
 
#13
Yes, great idea for home hosting server box with a auto timer switch.:D
Maybe open the forums for certain hours in a day.

For reference only.
 

Nick

Well-known member
#14
I doubt that most forums have international users. How many people only know their first language good enough to communicate fluently? :)
By far the most forums target native speakers.
Are you kidding? I don't think I've ever been to a forum that didn't have several international members.

Simple: Turn the board on when you get online, and off when you sign offline. Even if you have operating hours set via an option, how are you going to be sure a moderator is online exactly when the board becomes open? You don't, unless you're there. And if you're there in the first place, just turn it on manually instead of bloating the product with a feature that essentially nobody would use.
 

Walter

Well-known member
#15
Some (not all) comments make fun out of my suggestion because they think its ridiculous but it is not. Give yourself time and think about it more carefully or bring arguments. Believe me, I am admin at many forums and I haven't made this proposal out of a mood.
 
Some facts to start with:
  • The majority of all humans in this world don't speak English (only 340 millions out of 7000 millions are English native speakers). 
  • The majority of all humans don't live in the US.
  • Many people live in countries with no different timezones
  • Not every forum is catering to an international audience. There are far more local ones (e.g. catering only to a potential audience of 10 million population).
  • There are forums run for companies.
At my largest forum catering to an audience of 100 million native speakers I have international visitors, yes.
 
We have moderators online during 80% of the day, able to react fast when a troll appears. But there are times when the forum is hitten hard by good organized (!) groups of trolls I would rather lock out the very small (!) percentage of internationals visiting during the 6 nightly hours (!) than having to clean up the forum from hundreds (!) of troll posts.

These are real problems of large forums. Many problems arise when your forum starts to reach a volume you've never dreamed of. 
 

Jason

Well-known member
#16
Some (not all) comments make fun out of my suggestion because they think its ridiculous but it is not. Give yourself time and think about it more carefully or bring arguments. Believe me, I am admin at many forums and I haven't made this proposal out of a mood.

Some facts to start with:
  • The majority of all humans in this world don't speak English (only 340 millions out of 7000 millions are English native speakers).
  • The majority of all humans don't live in the US.
  • Many people live in countries with no different timezones
  • Not every forum is catering to an international audience. There are far more local ones (e.g. catering only to a potential audience of 10 million population).
  • There are forums run for companies.
At my largest forum catering to an audience of 100 million native speakers I have international visitors, yes.
We have moderators online during 80% of the day, able to react fast when a troll appears. But there are times when the forum is hitten hard by good organized (!) groups of trolls I would rather lock out the very small (!) percentage of internationals visiting during the 6 nightly hours (!) than having to clean up the forum from hundreds (!) of troll posts.

These are real problems of large forums. Many problems arise when your forum starts to reach a volume you've never dreamed of.
I still think the number of people who would actually enable such a feature is relatively low. You're also ignoring the fact that not everyone in a country, or even a particular neighborhood have the same surfing habits. Some people may visit forums and post first thing in the morning, others during the afternoon, and some at 3am in the morning. Personally, if I visited a forum and it required me to register or post during certain hours I'd most likely never return. Forums are a dime a dozen, and it's simply not worth the hassle. I mostly post during what free time I have, outside of other projects I'm working on (and, not to mention work). I'd guess most people do so in their leisurely time, as well.

I'm involved with quite a few large forums myself, as well, and one way we mitigate the very problem you are describing is by having moderators that can be on during different times of the day.
 
#17
If you don't need it, don't use it. Walter suggested an option not a must-have which everybody has to use. I don't need the new e-peen "like", either, but it's there, so what.
 

Walter

Well-known member
#18
one way we mitigate the very problem you are describing is by having moderators that can be on during different times of the day.
As I wrote, the problem is only for about 6 hours when no moderator is available because all have to sleep sometimes.
 

Jason

Well-known member
#19
If you don't need need, don't use it. Walter suggested an option not a must-have which everybody has to use. I don't need the new e-peen "like", either, but it's there, so what.
Ah, I love these kind of posts. There should be zero discussion on suggestions people post, right? After all, that's not what forums are for, heh.

As for the, "if you don't need it, don't use it" argument, this is exactly why vBulletin has tons of features most people do not even use. I fail to see a good reason for including any feature someone suggests simply because one can enable or disable it. There's a term for software like that, bloatware. And, as I see it, I highly doubt such a feature would be widely used (not even close). As others have said, probably best left to the modding community.
 

Jason

Well-known member
#20
As I wrote, the problem is only for about 6 hours when no moderator is available because all have to sleep sometimes.
I still think you're trying to take a sledge hammer to fix a problem that just needs a screwdriver :)

Back to your suggestion, I think the actual use case for such a feature is relatively small, almost nonexistent, regardless of whatever reasons provided. Most of the people that use XenForo probably won't already have established communities (or are trying to grow their existing ones), and thus are probably more inclined to leave their forums open 24x7 to maximize potential registrations, contributions, etc.