• Hey guys, I had to upgrade the VLJ software because the old one is being phased out. Please let me know of any issues in the SITE UPDATE THREAD. Thanks!

VLJ software upgrade

Roughwear

Well-Known Member
I don't mind the design, look and feel of the site. However, I'm shocked that a load of content (comment, imagery etc.) on the site is now publicly accessible / searchable. I'm surprised nobody considered the privacy aspects before spunking it all out there for public viewing. And especially so given the site was, previously, specifically closed i.e. some basic level of confidentiality was considered a key requirement. Oh well.
I agree with JDAM here and he makes a valid point about privacy. I fear that if posts in many areas are public members will refrain from posting.
I do wonder if the aim is to significantly increase exposure and membership to enable advertising and sponsorship to create an income as on TFL.
 
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bfrench

Administrator
Guys,

Go to the bottom of the page left side - click on the Default Style to choose default or pale grey.
 

Nathan Flowers

Administrator
I agree with JDAM here and he makes a valid point about privacy. I fear that if posts in many areas are public members will refrain from posting.
I do wonder if the aim is to significantly increase exposure and membership to enable advertising and sponsorship to create an income as on TFL.
We're in a very different environment than we were in when VLJ was started. As you all have posted about recently, traffic has been down over the past few years, and new membership growth was stagnant. Forums cannot survive without new members. In order for VLJ to attract new, quality members, they need to be able to see the high quality information and knowledge you guys have shared over the years, and be persuaded by that to stay and contribute. The sharing of knowledge and excitement about cool jackets is what will keep this hobby going for all of us for years to come.

I discussed this with Chris and Bill in depth before I became the new custodian of the site, and they agreed that it would be a good course of action for me to take, because they both want to see VLJ continue to grow and be vibrant into the future.

I have moderated several other forums over the years, and privacy issues have not been a significant problem in over a decade. So long as personal information like your full name, telephone number, address, etc. isn't posted, I expect every member's privacy to remain secure. If it does become an issue, we will deal with it promptly.

We do not intend to make money in any way that will change the user experience for you guys.

This means that there will be ZERO display ads for any of you. If we ever have a display ad on the site, it would be for non-members.

I didn't take on VLJ suddenly bombard you all with ads and generate income for myself. I took it on because I'm experienced in running forums, I actually like leather jackets, and I don't want to see the fantastic content here suddenly disappear in another server crash.

My long-term goal is to get the site to pay for itself, help generate some original content that will be interesting to you guys, and maintain the incredible amount of knowledge built up here well into the future.


I certainly do not like this pale wishy, washy colour scheme!
Like Bill said above, bottom-left of any page, click the gear next to "Soft Responsive (Gray)", and choose the "Default Style". That will give you the original high-contrast white theme. Do you have another theme you prefer? Perhaps a dark style, or pure black on white?
 
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ButteMT61

Well-Known Member
I think it's good. It's not like there's lots of posts anyway. The "some guys might not post any more" thing doesn't really hold a lot of water as the post counts by most have dropped off tons in the last year or so.
The place needs some action, and if that's from new members, great. It's not like anyone here is paying for this - in time or money.
I'd be open to discussing Nathan. I'm not dismissing other's opinions, but look at reality here - it's been pretty dead and if it's to survive, it needs more traffic.
 

a2jacketpatches

Active Member
What's wrong with non members viewing? It's a good way to get the feel for it before joining. If anything it's conducive to this place regaining it's appeal. Need some new blood, new ideas, and loosening up around here. What's the big secret?
 

Andrew

Well-Known Member
One benefit of having the closed forum is that serially misbehaving members who had been ejected were not only, not able to post but were also not able to lurk. This banishment was more of a punishment than just being kicked out. I'm sure all of the longterm members remember the handful of times that's happened.

The smaller membership and closed doors have meant that this place has had a really clubby feel where you know you are for the most part amongst friends with probably very similar interests. The way it is now anyone surfing the net will stumble across what i'm posting right now. I haven't posted much in recent times but I certainly wont be posting anything like I used to.

I say lock it please.
 

John Lever

Moderator
Nathan has a valid point about how the forum was beginning to senescence like an old apple tree that is still there but no longer produces much fruit. Without some kind of change this place was becoming a pale shadow of what it once was. Also as Chris wanted to pass the reins to someone else I think it was fortunate that Nathan came forward when he did. The running costs are now roughly ten times what they were with the old platform so somehow this cost has to be met.
I also don't like the forum being public and suggested that images remain unsearchable by Google. That's the rub really a private dying forum or a public living forum. Could if the privacy concerns could be addressed by restricting non members to only bing able to read part of posts until they become members ?
 

Roughwear

Well-Known Member
John,
I like your idea of non members only accessing part of a post.

This does make sense Steve. I would like to see the forum rejuvenated, and providing non members with a taster of the forum may help. The on-line jacket environment has expanded enormously since VLJ started, especially with all the FB groups.
 

John Lever

Moderator
I wonder if going incognito while on the Web would get round reading restrictions? I do it all the time with newspaper websites because I am too tight to pay subscriptions !

Andrew is correct about FB some of the groups are as big as VLJ.
 

Roughwear

Well-Known Member
Some people who used to post here are now posting on FB and are not bothering to post here as well because often the same people who are here discuss the posts on FB.
 

Cobblers161

Well-Known Member
How about having a couple of sections open to the public and leave the rest closed. Say perhaps a General Jacket Discussion or WW2 thread? This would enable them to whet their appetitive and allow us to check them out.

Also a couple of other forums I use have a restriction placed on viewing until a certain number of posts are made.

I can only see we need to progress if the current content/postings/membership is somewhat lacking, I for one don't think it is but then I don't pull any strings.
Let's not forget this is a very small interest group so we are never going to be flooded with hundreds of new members, our field of scope is nothing like The Hat Place.

If push comes to shove and we want it to remain club-like we could always keep it open 'as is' via donations, put our money where our mouth's are.
How much does it cost per annum to run?
 

a2jacketpatches

Active Member
Think the point is being overlooked hear, I know it may be hard to face fellas but this place is just too "clubby" for the average guy starting out. The hobby has always been way beyond the focus here and many just don't feel welcome. Many of you who frequent here as members don't really see that big picture. This is the truth. And lurking members? If I got the boot today I could be back as someone else in a month posting in threads anyway, simple as that. Putting our heads in the sand doesn't solve the problem, new ideas and experimenting does. Putting a link on Facebook may help but will also have a dozen guys I know of chuckling as if it's a desperate attempt to recover a crowd that's already left. And I'd love to quote another dozen that tried here over the past year but don't bother. Unfortunately, all that would do is ruffle feathers and start a 10 page argument with one or two people, the perfect example of what most are looking to avoid ;) Personally, I'm on many forums to include movie props, several military collecting, health, even marbles. I was able to look around first without posting and the only other restriction was seeing photos. That really got me going to read the knowledge without pictures. After poking around for a bit, I'm in if it looks friendly, otherwise NEXT!!!!

So if we want this place to get back to where it was, open our minds a bit and allow, let's not be so rigid. Can't see why this would deter existing members from posting.
 

a2jacketpatches

Active Member
Some people who used to post here are now posting on FB and are not bothering to post here as well because often the same people who are here discuss the posts on FB.
I'll quote one guy " Facebook is just more fun " don't think it's all about duplicate discussion.
 

John Lever

Moderator
I would quite like to edit my details as shown on the profile page and suspect others might like to do so on their profiles. I can't see an edit button and would like to remove my date of birth for security reasons.
How is it done please ?
 
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