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Thread: AVF's Future ( or how NOT to celebrate a 5th Year Mod Anniversary )

  1. #1
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    AVF's Future ( or how NOT to celebrate a 5th Year Mod Anniversary )

    Hiya AVF

    First up, thank you immensely for your patience, understanding, and community spirit through some really trying times in the last year or longer... Thanks for sticking with us through waves of spam, thanks for putting up with bloody pop-ups, and thanks for wading through the Coinhive* Miner software that is currently lurking in the index.

    * For now ( as of yesterday) it appears the coinminer has been deactivated ... please refresh your Cache and it should be gone .... I reported the intrusion to our site to the actual Coinhive site in mid November , they replied that we needed to identify the actual account number within the script ... A thing us mere Mods couldnít do ... However a very clever AVF member DID manage to find it hidden in the script files .. Thanks to them I contacted them again Xmas eve, it would appear the account was deleted as promised ... I did notify admin many times and also mailed the info to him , I havenít received a response , so I am assuming the Coin Miner people by deactivating the account on their end also severed the linking script , so your PC's should no longer be being hijacked ! ( hopefully it wont be reinserted but no guarantees at this stage I am sorry )

    OK for the rest of this post I will probably use the word "I" a lot, but rest assured Ingrid and GT will have seen the draft of this, made any changes and signed off on it ... They are "I" as well here.

    Secondly, I personally am going to apologise for the length of what I have to say next, its a big read, you probably donít need it ... but you DO NEED to at least scroll to the bottom where I will try and bullet point salient issues that we are going to ask you to think about going forward.

    As Moderators of this forum we expect to have to put up with a bit( and we do LOL )
    but you deserve better . Sadly those intrusions into the AVF experience have all fallen outside our "paygrade" and we have also had to suffer through them.

    Ingrid, GT, and I have tried to grab the spam posts as soon as they appear if we are around, but you, as members, probably have a limited experience of the severity of the issue being faced ...

    For instance through YOUR view of the forum, the reviews section consists of 44 odd pages of member contributions... but OUR view consists of 80+ ( and climbing) pages ... the difference being page after page of Spam Bot posting...Just for Shytes n Giggles, a week or so ago, I scrolled back thru 20 pages ( and faced the coinhive miner 20 times) for an impressive end result of encountering 2 actual legitimate posts after wading thru over 400 Spam ones ... ALL from individual accounts and ALL of which have to be manually deleted and then banned by us so you can enjoy the forum without them.

    This is in the time-frame of only the last 6 weeks just on one sub-forum!

    Of course this has been happening over a much longer period.
    Remember this is ONE sub-forum, albeit the worst, but it is replicated partially in others.
    EPM V2-18490 (X2 ),GP Spheroid V2.5 and GP Piccolo V2.5 ,BBCB, Provari mini's, REO mini V2.1, 18490 REO , Jazz Carto Pipes ( fitted with GA tank and churchwarden stem Totally Evil!!! ), Meerschaum pipe ,e-holly35W,Phideas, AIOS,Taifun atties, PC Pipe mods.PC Squonker, Svapiamo squonker, GP Paps Heron combo.

    Vaping since 2007 totally smoke free since 2011


    AVF Rules , Read and understand them

  2. #2
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    In the last 18 months or so the forum moderators have manually banned over 2500 spam accounts conservatively. There would easily be the same amount if not more presently lurking in the database waiting for their activation.

    Its a huge waste of our time and good will .

    It has REALLY pissed us off that we have to ask you as members, to ensure your PC is covered with decent adblocking software, and that you at least have a halfway decent antivirus to counter such things .

    More importantly we can only guess at the amount of new vapers and old friends that are scared off by their experience encountering AVF in this state...

    It shouldn’t happen, you shouldn’t have to put up with it, and we as mods shouldn’t have to try and placate you while its happening.

    Admin has been made aware of all the issues, and to the best of our knowledge has done little apart from installing a I.P. Spam service where individual I. P.s can be blocked IF that I.P. appears on an external list which is updated ( possibly?) by our manually reporting the I. P.s of those accounts we delete... At the time we hoped that would do the trick. It Hasn’t . That was well over a year ago and has had limited effect only catching a few posts now and then

    In the last few months I have personally sent yet more emails ( to several known accounts) seeking acknowledgement of our problems and pointing out issues we highlighted over the past years are ongoing still , more recently I have made phone calls and left voice messages... I have had no reply in months.

    The bills keep getting paid and AVF is still here, and without taking away from the above , that’s still a great commitment and has kept us all together... I fully recognise and appreciate that, I also know there have been extraneous circumstances that in part might explain things.

    But the time has come where it is getting really hard to keep making the same excuses, and backing a system that is clearly not responding to us... Some might think that frustrating, and to a point it is , but the overwhelming experience I am taking away from it is sadness and tiredness.

    GT, Ingrid and I have been feeling it for a long time now, our great friendship has buoyed us up for sooooo long.

    The testament is, it has survived all this, and some really serious "Real World" complications experienced by all of us, which is nothing short of amazing. Together we have faced or battled illnesses, loss, grief, frustrations, and some evil Sh1t you will probably never know about... and yet we are here .

    But what we need to know AVF is whether YOU are still here....

    Despite our failings, Despite our efforts, Despite the forum directions we have taken over the years that probably have pissed more than one or two of you off.

    Back in the time when we were given the mantle of looking after the place, AVF was simpler, politics were an interest rather than an obsession, Innovation was king, and vaping was nowhere near as commercial as it has grown to be today. We love AVF, and we love the fact that the core of it has remained relatively unchanged despite the shifting landscape.

    Vaping is about being with mates, getting off the ciggies and enjoying the vape, rather than trying to make a buck out of the vapers, we try to hold true to that to this day

    With any evolution, changes occur and some like it, some don’t but I think we have done more than a half decent job in accepting newly evolving community expectations and welcoming the newer generations of vapers and give them a home too.

    The community has grown, politics has grown, advocacy has grown, ... and vendors, Ohhhhh how Vendors have grown... and yet we tried to balance it all into this crowded multicultural place that once was a lounge-room for us .

    That bedsit has grown into a really nice home ... but that home desperately needs some paint thrown at it and some maintenance to halt the termites that are messing with the functionality of the forum ...


    Sadly however it has come to this ....

    Ingrid, Graham, and myself no longer can continue to ask you, our friends and vapers to keep making excuses for the framework of AVF.

    We have just reached our 5th anniversary as Moderators and instead of celebrating that, we are tired, and worn out, and completely over making excuses for the current AVF experience.

    After much discussion we decided to outline a few critical directions away from this place we are at now .

    So what it boils down to is this......

    - Firstly above all else we would LOVE AVF to get back to what it used to be, without pop-ups, hacks, the coinminer, 1,000's of spam accounts and other recurring issues.
    We would love to be heard and helped out, and hopefully that can still happen.
    If it takes us resigning if admin wants that , we will..... just to get the place back to being a welcoming vibrant growing community.. if WE are the problem, say so
    We WANT the vast resource that is AVF to continue and prosper, but WE cant address the problems facing us presently.

    None of us wants to "own" AVF , just serve it, and the community.

    - Secondly, if point one cant be resolved, we HAVE had the offer of assuming the same roles in another existing community, but for personal reasons, that’s not really viable for any of us and would pretty much just piss off several communities/ members ... that’s NOT what we are about and never were.

    - Thirdly, if nothing can be resolved about existing and future AVF problems (after a LOT of navel staring and discussion ) then we might be prepared to start a whole new community , where as moderators we have actual input into forum admin and can make the necessary changes if/when required. We would envision it as having someone in an technical admin role for the forums sake, but have NO direction nor influence on the membership . However understandably our passion for this has taken a hammering recently and to be honest I am not sure of the viability long term of that as an exercise In part that would rely more on community support to rekindle those passions.

    - Lastly we walk away on a "high" proud of what we have done here .....

    Please consider that the last two options are two of many we thought about, but ALL of them pale into insignificance if the current situation here can be resolved.

    We are in NO hurry to do anything ( except get this place fixed, if that happened the rest is unnecessary)

    Our vision at AVF has always been inclusive, and that’s why we are here now.

    We are not running off making plans behind anyone’s back, we are not hijacking AVF, we are not seeking to exploit the member base.

    What we are doing is asking YOU what you want , we don’t expect solidarity, we don’t expect anything really.

    Part of what I think made AVF great , was perhaps what led us here to this point.

    As mods we have had a LOT of freedom and hopefully we haven’t abused that too much... We have/had a great community that looks after the joint pretty well.
    That freedom allowed us to build on aspects and created a little corner of the web unlike no other... We see real world support happening all the time, we see real world acts of charity and generosity that you just don’t get anywhere else.

    We have a giving community rather than a taking one, and when exposed to the "taking" element it stands tall and refuses to let them win .

    I love that, I am incredibly proud to be part of that. Evolving the tradition that stands firm in face of all the commercialism.

    But by the same token I/we feel we have done our bit, and while there would be sadness at the walking away, we feel it could be ok you know?

    So when someone says to us " what have you done for vaping" We don’t feel like we need to say a thing... because our deeds and actions have said it all for us before, more so than empty words.
    Never needed a pat on the back , but they were nice when they came .

    So AVF over to you ... What do YOU want, and feel free to let Admin know if they can be bothered reading it ... this was a once great site, but we are hamstrung, we don’t want it to just be full of Chinese vendor ads ( and yes we let them post, it was part of our inclusive policy... but without a vibrant community posting alongside it, the place looks more and more like a Chinese mod clearance shop :/ )

    (*I am also aware all the waffling above is a great possible death sentence for the forum or ourselves if taken badly or motives are misconstrued ... I hope that doesn’t happen and will hopefully see you all on the morrow )

    To our owner and Admin , I am sorry it has come to this I really am , for the last 5 years I have ALWAYS had the best interests of AVF and its community at heart, you have no idea how hard it was to come to the above breaking point. I guess it could also be argued that in posting this we are being a bit "precious " and maybe we are ?
    margyb, Crisscross, Stomp and 22 others like this.
    EPM V2-18490 (X2 ),GP Spheroid V2.5 and GP Piccolo V2.5 ,BBCB, Provari mini's, REO mini V2.1, 18490 REO , Jazz Carto Pipes ( fitted with GA tank and churchwarden stem Totally Evil!!! ), Meerschaum pipe ,e-holly35W,Phideas, AIOS,Taifun atties, PC Pipe mods.PC Squonker, Svapiamo squonker, GP Paps Heron combo.

    Vaping since 2007 totally smoke free since 2011


    AVF Rules , Read and understand them

  3. #3
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    Oh and this is not an "I/We quit immediately " thread its just opening to the AVF community matters which have been coped with for a long time and possible alternatives ... we actually DO include us saying " Sorry we are tired ... thanks for putting up with us ... but ... its time" ... we dont want that to happen , but continuing the way we have been is something we are over a fair bit .
    EPM V2-18490 (X2 ),GP Spheroid V2.5 and GP Piccolo V2.5 ,BBCB, Provari mini's, REO mini V2.1, 18490 REO , Jazz Carto Pipes ( fitted with GA tank and churchwarden stem Totally Evil!!! ), Meerschaum pipe ,e-holly35W,Phideas, AIOS,Taifun atties, PC Pipe mods.PC Squonker, Svapiamo squonker, GP Paps Heron combo.

    Vaping since 2007 totally smoke free since 2011


    AVF Rules , Read and understand them

  4. #4
    AVF Regular
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    Liked those but not really, just a show of support



    You know my feelings on the matter. You three are the only people I know who would have put up with the telling silence from Admin. I admire you all so much and I would not still be here if not for your friendship.
    Last edited by Crisscross; 27-12-17 at 08:28 PM.
    Colouring My World with Elegance
    Started Vaping 13th October, 2011

  5. #5
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    Lot of waffling.... :P

    We appreciate what the headshead does and the frustration at not being able to reach Admin is overwhelming, for everyone, but especially you guys

    I support whatever you guys wanna do.
    Stylemessiah: Prince of all things small and whispery. Abhorrer of shoutiness. Shunner of all vigorousities.

    Pushing back against the vendor wall, one damn stupid post at a time...

    Not on as many ignore lists as you think....

    Handy shopping links:
    Mods With Issues (Often On Discounted Flash Sale) Last Updated 13/10/17

  6. #6
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    i don't know why i still come here

    but where ever you three, and other AVF members go, i'll be there [without knowing why]
    "Vapers- The evangelical vegans of the smoking community"
    Quote Originally Posted by btobw View Post
    1 vote for DogMan because squonkers, dogs, chooks and brevity

  7. #7
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    Thats why
    Colouring My World with Elegance
    Started Vaping 13th October, 2011

  8. #8
    AVF Regular
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    You do what you think is best for the forum, its been good to me over the last 3+ years and I would be happy to follow the current mods wherever you go or do if it comes to that. Many thanks to you and GT and Ingy.
    Im going to create a disturbance in your mind.............Billy Thorpe

  9. #9
    LNB
    LNB is offline
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    Avf is a top joint and i don't want to see it go...and you mods do a great job (wouldn't of thought I'd ever say that hey big fella) and i reckon you need to stay on, avf wouldn't be the same with out you 3 running the show...

  10. #10
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    giruvian, Stomp, Cath Mort and 3 others like this.
    "Vapers- The evangelical vegans of the smoking community"
    Quote Originally Posted by btobw View Post
    1 vote for DogMan because squonkers, dogs, chooks and brevity

 

 
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