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Comments August 30, 2007

Yet Another Search Tweak

Filed under: Search, phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 3:26 am CommentsComments (8) 

One of the ideas that comes up regularly when discussion tweaks to the phpBB2 search system includes the idea of setting up some sort of cron job that helps to maintain the search index table. There are a lot of transactions that hit that table during the posting process, and the posting process is what the user sees. If the posting process is slow, then the board “feels” slow. So I really like this next tweak, as it can improve the posting process quite a bit.


Comments August 28, 2007

SQL Challenge #1: Frequent Poster Analysis

Filed under: SQL Challenge — Dave Rathbun @ 5:05 am CommentsComments (3) 

I have no idea if this will be interesting or not, but I want to try it for a while and see what happens. I am going to start a series of SQL Challenge posts. The first one is based on a query that I wrote during one of my posts in my “Advertising on Forums” series. Since it was based on a table that is not part of phpBB I have provided a download link for a script that will create a simple version of the table for you to put into your database and play around with, if you are so inclined.


Comments August 27, 2007

Advertising on Forums Part III: Measuring RFM

Filed under: Advertising, phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 8:29 am Comments Off 

RFM: It’s Not What You Think…

In Part II of this series I wrote about my ideas regarding what a potential advertiser would be looking for. Advertisers don’t care how big your board is, at least to some degree. You just have to have the right segment of users. Think about how valuable a board that catered to millionaires would be. If you had even 200 verified millionaires as members you can bet advertisers would be calling.

So what’s next? After looking over your subject matter here’s the next question I think you will want to be able to answer:

What is the RFM factor of my users?

What is RFM? Well, it’s probably not what you think. ;-)


Comments August 24, 2007

How to sell a batch of Pokemon cards for $142.51

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 9:39 pm Comments Off 

You may have seen this already as it seems to be making the rounds. But if you haven’t, it’s hysterical. It might fall into the NSFW category only if laughing out loud while reading something off of your monitor will get you into trouble. Just make sure you’re not covering up with an email from your boss while you’re laughing and you will probably be fine.

What is it? It’s a very creative eBay listing from a mother of six. Here’s how it starts:

I’m selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn’t notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store.

Read the rest of the listing…

Comments August 21, 2007

Advertising on Forums Part II: Have Something to Sell

Filed under: Advertising, phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 12:56 am Comments Off 

In Part I of this series I tried to share some of the thoughts I went through as I was planning to start advertising on my biggest board. I was concerned that adding advertising would ruin the “user experience” on the board, and tried to take steps to address that. In this post I want to talk about what I think is required even before you that move. You have to be able to answer these questions:

Do I have something an advertiser is going to be interested in?
What am I trying to sell?
How much is it worth?


Comments August 20, 2007

More flexible comment policy

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 11:11 am Comments Off 

I don’t want to jinx anything but I have seen very few spam comments coming through lately. So if you are a comment author with a previously approved comment, your new comments are now automatically approved. I don’t know how the switch will work; you might need one more approved comment under the new configuration, or maybe not. I guess we’ll find out. 8)

Comments August 19, 2007

Funny Shirt

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 10:33 pm CommentsComments (1) 

I saw a t-shirt today that was at least to my mind designed for the younger crowd that is more in touch with what is going on in today’s world. But it was really a nicely conceived t-shirt slogan as it could easily be taken in more than one way. I’m sure you will “get” the shirt… it reads:

get out of my space


Comments August 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, BOB

Filed under: phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 9:49 am CommentsComments (1) 

BOB is the affectionate nickname for my largest phpBB board. I started building it using phpbb 2.0.1 in June of 2002 as a replacement for a mailing list that really needed a replacement. On August 15 of 2002 we announced the launch of the board to the general population of the mailing list. The “BusinessObjects Query Tools Discussion Board” was open for business. The first order of business was to shorten the name. :lol:

So BusinessObjects Query Tools Discussion Board became BusinessObjects Board rather quickly. As anyone involved in phpBB probably knows this guy > :mrgreen: < is known as Mr. Green. Somewhere along the way someone on the board decided that Mr. Green's first name is BOB, and therefore :mrgreen: is now the official smilie of BOB: the BusinessObjects Board.

Five years old, as of today. :)

Our users have posted a total of 340989 articles
We have 26908 registered users

Comments August 14, 2007

Search Algorithms and the Wizards that Write Them

Filed under: Search, phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 7:38 pm Comments Off 

One of the reasons I like the phpBB2 search system so much is I can understand it. If I can understand it, I can tweak it. And that’s what an entire series of blog posts has ended up being about. And they’re not over yet. :-) But I do have to be honest; the search system provided with phpBB2 does have two big challenges. It doesn’t scale well, so very large boards will likely have to do a lot of tweaks or turn it off or seek some alternative. And it is missing one extremely important aspect that most users look for: the ability to search for an exact phrase.


Comments August 13, 2007

Page Permissions Bug Found

Filed under: MOD Writing — Dave Rathbun @ 11:41 pm CommentsComments (5) 

While working on something completely unrelated I have discovered a bug in my favorite Page Permissions MOD. It’s not a critical error or anything related to security, so if you are using this MOD you don’t have to worry about that. No, it’s a subtle little thing. One that I have absolutely no idea how to fix at this time. :-?


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