message boards, chat rooms, etc

Posted by Patrick Butler at 04/26/2001 10:29 PM EST

Student on team #122, NASA Knights, from NHGS and NASA Langley Research Center.

I think it would be cool to have a site pretty much like this but slightly different:

  1. Message boards with a little easier to navigate archives
  2. Email and web based message boards, essentially have a mailing list but with web archives and web posting, in the same idea as egroups
  3. Chat rooms, irc is a good idea, maybe a web interface also done with a private irc server
  4. Links to video streams
  5. more general info
  6. not directly associated with any team (there are too many smaller team message boards that don’t get enough attention)
  7. centralized robots database

I think that the services provided here are great, but a lot of other features could be added. More smaller web services should be centralized to a single server. I know there are a lot of teams that provide these services individually but these should be provided all in one place.
Maybe people think there isn’t really a need, I personally would find something more centralized useful. I have experience in doing many of the above things, and would be glad to help (or go it alone as long as there is a need for such a site) develop such services. At the same time I don’t really want to compete with the Delphi boards, that would make an even bigger schism in the myriad of web sites out there, besides these boards are pretty good in what they do, I just think there could be additions and improvements in them.

Patrik

Posted by Jason Leslie at 04/26/2001 10:46 PM EST

Alumni on team #157, Aztechs, from Assabet Valley RTHS (Class of 1998) and .

In Reply to: message boards, chat rooms, etc
Posted by Patrick Butler on 04/26/2001 10:29 PM EST:

There is a site that I go to that only lists the origonal post to the thread and it you are intersted in it you click it and the post and its replies are all there. It is multi-tired like this one but it looks cleaner.

Don’t get me wrong. I love this site and sometimes I see a reply that grabs my attention and not the orig post. I guess it is a double edged sword.

Jay

: I think it would be cool to have a site pretty much like this but slightly different:
: 1) Message boards with a little easier to navigate archives
: 2) Email and web based message boards, essentially have a mailing list but with web archives and web posting, in the same idea as egroups
: 3) Chat rooms, irc is a good idea, maybe a web interface also done with a private irc server
: 4) Links to video streams
: 5) more general info
: 6) not directly associated with any team (there are too many smaller team message boards that don’t get enough attention)
: 7) centralized robots database

: I think that the services provided here are great, but a lot of other features could be added. More smaller web services should be centralized to a single server. I know there are a lot of teams that provide these services individually but these should be provided all in one place.
: Maybe people think there isn’t really a need, I personally would find something more centralized useful. I have experience in doing many of the above things, and would be glad to help (or go it alone as long as there is a need for such a site) develop such services. At the same time I don’t really want to compete with the Delphi boards, that would make an even bigger schism in the myriad of web sites out there, besides these boards are pretty good in what they do, I just think there could be additions and improvements in them.

: Patrik

Posted by Adrian Wong at 04/27/2001 2:35 PM EST

Student on team #596, SciClones, from Hopkinton High School and Zymark, EMC, and Computer Associates.

In Reply to: Re: message boards, chat rooms, etc
Posted by Jason Leslie on 04/26/2001 10:46 PM EST:

In addition, non-threaded forums like the one you mention often move active threads to the top of the list. With that feature, interesting threads are kept in the conversation, while other threads are shuffled down on the page.

Posted by Mike King at 04/28/2001 2:20 PM EST

Coach on team #88, TJ², from Bridgewater Raynham and Johnson & Johnson Professional.

In Reply to: Re: message boards, chat rooms, etc
Posted by Jason Leslie on 04/26/2001 10:46 PM EST:

I’m a regular visitor to a website on the Delphi Web Board System. (Not this one, there’s an actual free Webboard service called Delphi.com)

It has a lot of feature that I wish I had here, for example, you can list threads by date, To Me (they are addressible), unread marked intresting (little button on the bottom of threads that you use to mark a thread intresting)

However, Delphi has it’s own problems. (it’s hosted on there site, and it crams ads down your throat)

Another option, which I haven’t expericanced, is UBBoard. Never used it, but it’s supposed to offer these same features.

Posted by Ken Leung at 04/26/2001 11:41 PM EST

College Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

In Reply to: message boards, chat rooms, etc
Posted by Patrick Butler on 04/26/2001 10:29 PM EST:

Having a centralized web page is certainly a great way for teams to have easy access to various resources on the web, and I think it’s a great idea.

But there are couple of things we will have to consider if we really want something like this happening, and the most immediate issue I can see is the personnel working on this big scale web page.

As you mention each of those 7 categories, I could think of some great representatives of the different areas. So, if we are to combine all 7 of them, we will need different people working on different area. I know we don’t necessary need all 7 webmasters, but we need a few to create/program different areas.

So, we will need to find the people to do it. For the people interested: May I suggest that you contact some of the teams’ web page I am going to list below, which I think are great representatives of each of the 7 area, and see what kind of work it takes to maintain their web pages…

Second problem will be the traffic on this centralized. So far, I already know that the Chief Delphi website is killing their service provider because so many people visit everyday. I can also imagine the US FIRST website have a tons of traffic too¡K So we will need to find some way of supporting this kind of popularity.

Third problem is how can we get people to switch to the new web page. Right now, I feel comfortable with all the different web pages because I have all of them bookmarked in a folder, so it is really convenient for me to go from page to page. Also, I enjoy how each team¡¦s web page having their own style and theme, making the visit from one site to another more interesting.

I think the first step right now is to put the links together, so that everyone will at least have some clue about where the resources are. There are three option after that: find people to completely create a site out of thin air, or using some sort of innovative interface to join the existing web pages together (linking sites together by links or some sort of navigator on top of the screen leading people from one place to another), or do some of both.

I know this is lot of work, but if it actually happens, then it will be great help to everyone.

Some popular websites I can think of right now:

Message boards: Chief Delphi forum
http://www.chiefdelphi.com

Chat rooms: Tigerbolt chat room
http://www.rit.edu/~us1stwww/chat.html

Links to video streams: (? do someone know who’s in charge in this? NASA? Alan of 255?)
http://vanseg-1.arc.nasa.gov/first.html

More general info: US FIRST , SharingFIRST, and the Nuts4FIRST website


http://sharingfirst.mit.edu/
http://nuts4first.net/

Not directly associated with any team: again, SharingFIRST and Nuts4FIRST, but also firstrobotics.net
http://sharingfirst.mit.edu/
http://nuts4first.net/
www.firstrobotics.net

Centralized robots database: SOAP108, and GMCIA(link?)
www.soap108.com

Posted by Adrian Wong at 04/27/2001 2:42 PM EST

Student on team #596, SciClones, from Hopkinton High School and Zymark, EMC, and Computer Associates.

In Reply to: message boards, chat rooms, etc
Posted by Patrick Butler on 04/26/2001 10:29 PM EST:

: I think it would be cool to have a site pretty much like this but slightly different:

I think you’re thinking of a “portal” site. It’d be an interesting idea to apply to FIRST.

A news and information site would be useful to my team. What needs to be considered is how much “news” is generated by the FIRST community in general. IN addition, would traffic to this site be regular and consistent?

I used to be a site director for one of the web sites at the GameSpy Network (www.gamespy.com). If you look at some of the GameSpy Network sites (for example: www.planethalflife.com), you’ll see they are a news and information nexus. Forums, chat, and news are all present in one location.

However, with several teams having already established niche positions in those areas (as posted by Ken Leung), I wonder how much popularity a central site may gain. Being in direct competition with other teams and their services (SOAP 108, ChiefDelphi Forums, TigerBolt Chat, etc.) may be detrimental. However, if the FIRST web sites could get together and agree on something, it’d be an interesting undertaking.

If you think of going ahead with this idea, let me know. :slight_smile:

  • Adrian Wong

Posted by Lora Knepper at 04/27/2001 2:56 PM EST

Other on team #177, Bobcat Robotics - Adoptee, from South Windsor High School and International Fuel Cells.

In Reply to: FIRST Portal
Posted by Adrian Wong on 04/27/2001 2:42 PM EST:

Perhaps a setup more akin to something like Yahoo! would work. Rather than compete with the existing sites, why don’t we work on one portal style page that brings all the external sites together. This also helps to spread bandwidth usage out.

So for example, a category called “Forums” could be made, and a link to Chief Delphi contained inside. Another for “Chat” and Tigerbolt’s IRC link could be listed. “Team Pages” – rather self explanitory as a place to list your team so your site is easily found…etc. News could be placed on the page - like Team updates or upcoming post-season events. Links to useful sites like mcmaster carr could be in there too.

I’d be more than willing to lend a hand with things if it’s decided that something like this would be a good idea.

~ lora

Webmaster
http://www.rit.edu/~us1stwww/ – Tigerbolt T73 Chat
http://www.FIRST-a-holics.com
http://www.robot-chicks-union.org

Posted by Adrian Wong at 04/27/2001 3:15 PM EST

Student on team #596, SciClones, from Hopkinton High School and Zymark, EMC, and Computer Associates.

In Reply to: A Portal Style Idea
Posted by Lora Knepper on 04/27/2001 2:56 PM EST:

So, a FIRST directory modelled in a Yahoo! format? :slight_smile: Sounds good.

Who will provide the hosting space? How do you go about minimizing team affiliations and promoting a unified FIRST image?

EMC’s corporate headquarters is right here in Hopkinton, Mass. They may be willing to provide hosting space as well as bandwidth for this site.

What about MV Communications, the host of USFIRST.org?

Posted by Jason Rudolph at 04/27/2001 4:32 PM EST

Coach on team #459, Rampage, from University of Florida/Eastside High School and Adaptive Equipment.

In Reply to: FIRST Directory
Posted by Adrian Wong on 04/27/2001 3:15 PM EST:

I might be able to provide hosting…
When I started firstrobotics.net, this was kinda the whole idea behind the site, that it would be a sort of portal. I have not been able to do much work on the page in a long time though, cause I have been extremely busy lately.

Jason
webmaster, firstrobotics.net

Posted by Adrian Wong at 04/27/2001 4:58 PM EST

Student on team #596, SciClones, from Hopkinton High School and Zymark, EMC, and Computer Associates.

In Reply to: Re: FIRST Directory
Posted by Jason Rudolph on 04/27/2001 4:32 PM EST:

Interesting. I’ll see if I can flesh out some ideas this weekend. :slight_smile: I’ll be in touch.

  • Adrian Wong