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  #16  
Old 03-29-2024, 09:38 PM
John John is offline
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17 supporters in the first week raised $425 ($385 after fees) to help support GC.

If anyone wants to keep track of the number of supporters, go to https://www.buymeacoffee.com/greekchat and the # is shown near the top left corner of the page.

Thank you very much to everyone who chipped-in!

I'm going to promote this a bit more and if things go well it will be a great help in re-kickstarting things with GreekChat.
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2024, 10:21 PM
cheerfulgreek cheerfulgreek is offline
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I remember the ads that were on here. Didnít those help out financially for GC?
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  #18  
Old 04-02-2024, 12:43 AM
John John is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulgreek View Post
I remember the ads that were on here. Didnít those help out financially for GC?
There were pros and cons with ads on GC but generally I would say that I did not find the right setup that works well for GC.

Way back in the day I tried Google Ads on GC for a while. Ad quality was so bad that I recall there were many complaints / negative reviews, so I took those down.

For a while I also tried direct ad sales. Ad quality doing that was really quite good, maybe even great as most ads were directly targeted to GC's site audience. However, the time it took to sell & manage those ads really wasn't worth it, and there was opportunity cost to consider.

I am reconsidering ads on GC, though. If I am going to go back to having ads on GC I just need to sort out the right way to go about it.

My focus right now is on server equipment, hosting, software & sorting all those issues out.
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  #19  
Old 04-02-2024, 11:57 AM
cheerfulgreek cheerfulgreek is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
There were pros and cons with ads on GC but generally I would say that I did not find the right setup that works well for GC.

Way back in the day I tried Google Ads on GC for a while. Ad quality was so bad that I recall there were many complaints / negative reviews, so I took those down.

For a while I also tried direct ad sales. Ad quality doing that was really quite good, maybe even great as most ads were directly targeted to GC's site audience. However, the time it took to sell & manage those ads really wasn't worth it, and there was opportunity cost to consider.

I am reconsidering ads on GC, though. If I am going to go back to having ads on GC I just need to sort out the right way to go about it.

My focus right now is on server equipment, hosting, software & sorting all those issues out.
I see. I had no idea so much went into it.

I remember the complaints about the ads, lol.

There was an actual Greek chatroom (for actual Greek people) I used to post on before I came to this one. Apparently, the administrator used sponsors but it still eventually shut down.

Thank you for explaining how it all works, John. I know things will work out. GC has been around a long time, so youíre obviously doing what the others werenít doing.

Youíre the best! And thank you.
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  #20  
Old 04-04-2024, 03:19 PM
John John is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulgreek View Post
I had no idea so much went into it.
Oh, yeah, for sure. I've spent countless hours behind the scenes. Far too many to count, thousands.

I could leave things go and GC would continue to eke on for probably a long time. Then it would just be a matter of putting out fires from time to time (like the datacenter problems in 2018, what a mess that was). But the end result eventually would be something similar to all the others that closed down.

Over the years I built servers primarily for hosting GC because to rent a similar server was so expensive monthly, $500 or so per month. The servers cost a lot to build and took a while to sort out, but it enabled me to get the current monthly hosting cost under $100. Last server I built for GC was in 2013 and the site is still running on it. That server saved a ton of expenses over the past decade, but it's really been struggling lately.

Nowadays I have much better hosting options available as computer hardware, networks & etc have improved so much while at the same time prices have come down significantly for similar server hardware (at least with budget providers). So have been looking more into that.

One issue GC has been facing for a while now, and I'm sure most GCers have noticed, is terribly slow page loading at times. That's the sort of thing which basically chokes out a website. Something like 50% of site visitors abandon sites if they don't load within a few seconds. I've seen GC on a regular basis in the past year take 2x-4x that time to load. So a bit of a problem there to sort out. Sometimes GC is blazing fast and other times, far too often, it slows to a crawl.

The easiest solution for me with GC site speed issues would probably be one that everyone dislikes: making GC members only & shutting down new account registrations in order to quickly block all the bot traffic that has been hammering the site. And maybe add on to that anti-bot checks throughout the site. But... that would take most GC pages out of the search engines, would make the site less usable/convenient (= more visitors leaving) & just add to the overall general slow decline.

Well, hopefully I'm successful at turning the challenging stuff around and at least stabilize things better. On the other side of this, things might even turn out much better. I'm actually quite optimistic, but we shall see soon enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulgreek View Post
There was an actual Greek chatroom (for actual Greek people) I used to post on before I came to this one. Apparently, the administrator used sponsors but it still eventually shut down.
We had a real-time java based chat server on GC for years. And it was also used by many actual ethnic Greeks. There was one chat room on the chat server that was used primarily by the ethnic Greeks and most of the time there were more ethnic Greeks in the entire chat server compared to GCers. I shut the chat server down quite a long time ago.
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  #21  
Old 04-04-2024, 09:02 PM
cheerfulgreek cheerfulgreek is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Oh, yeah, for sure. I've spent countless hours behind the scenes. Far too many to count, thousands.

I could leave things go and GC would continue to eke on for probably a long time. Then it would just be a matter of putting out fires from time to time (like the datacenter problems in 2018, what a mess that was). But the end result eventually would be something similar to all the others that closed down.

Over the years I built servers primarily for hosting GC because to rent a similar server was so expensive monthly, $500 or so per month. The servers cost a lot to build and took a while to sort out, but it enabled me to get the current monthly hosting cost under $100. Last server I built for GC was in 2013 and the site is still running on it. That server saved a ton of expenses over the past decade, but it's really been struggling lately.

Nowadays I have much better hosting options available as computer hardware, networks & etc have improved so much while at the same time prices have come down significantly for similar server hardware (at least with budget providers). So have been looking more into that.

One issue GC has been facing for a while now, and I'm sure most GCers have noticed, is terribly slow page loading at times. That's the sort of thing which basically chokes out a website. Something like 50% of site visitors abandon sites if they don't load within a few seconds. I've seen GC on a regular basis in the past year take 2x-4x that time to load. So a bit of a problem there to sort out. Sometimes GC is blazing fast and other times, far too often, it slows to a crawl.

The easiest solution for me with GC site speed issues would probably be one that everyone dislikes: making GC members only & shutting down new account registrations in order to quickly block all the bot traffic that has been hammering the site. And maybe add on to that anti-bot checks throughout the site. But... that would take most GC pages out of the search engines, would make the site less usable/convenient (= more visitors leaving) & just add to the overall general slow decline.

Well, hopefully I'm successful at turning the challenging stuff around and at least stabilize things better. On the other side of this, things might even turn out much better. I'm actually quite optimistic, but we shall see soon enough.
Wow! You’ve really put a lot of hours and money into this site. I know nothing about computers, although I wish I did, so I’d be able to understand how it all works easier.

So, I was gone from like 2016 to around 2021/22, so I didn’t know about the issues from 2018. I popped in periodically back then, but I didn’t notice anything wrong. When I came back, most of the regular members were gone or had stopped posting. That’d be nice for things to be like they once were, although I know it’s way easier said than done. I still think it’s fun with the few regular members still posting, though. Just much “quieter”, lol.

I’m asking dumb questions here, because I don’t know a lot about computers/servers, etc. but with the bot traffic, can you still have the anti-bot checks, while keeping GC in the search engine at the same time? Kind of like to verify it’s a real person? It just seems like somewhat of a gamble or trial and error kind of thing. It’s like it won’t allow you to have one thing without the other.

Do you find it more time consuming and expensive when it’s a lot of people that are posting? Or is it the same, even with the amount of people posting now? I’ve noticed that sometimes the site is slow, sometimes it’s fast.

Well, I’m happy to know you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and are really positive about GC’s future. That’s a plus.

Like you, I think great things are to come for GC. Plus, we’re all here in support of you, John.


Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
We had a real-time java based chat server on GC for years. And it was also used by many actual ethnic Greeks. There was one chat room on the chat server that was used primarily by the ethnic Greeks and most of the time there were more ethnic Greeks in the entire chat server compared to GCers. I shut the chat server down quite a long time ago.
lol
What? When was that? That must have been before I became a member here. So, I remember when the Greek Chat site I used to post on because of my ethnicity, when that site shut down, when I tried searching for it, this site showed up. But when I’d lurk here, I kept seeing ethnic Greeks being told by mods that they were on the wrong site. That’s hilarious that many of us were using the server, more than GC members were using it. Wow!
__________________
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Letís be respectful of our differences and work to save our freedoms and the planet we inhabit. Itís ALL weíve got, folks! ~ PGD-GRAD
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  #22  
Old 04-04-2024, 11:25 PM
John John is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 2,160
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulgreek View Post
I didnít know about the issues from 2018. I popped in periodically back then, but I didnít notice anything wrong.
I don't recall how apparent it was to GCers back then. It was basically 6 weeks of web/colo hosting hell for me, though. There was some sort of power issue causing the server to reboot randomly throughout each day. Nearly 100 spontaneous reboots during those 6 weeks. My phone would ping all hours of the day & night. Every single time it happened I had to do some work on the database to check for and fix problems it caused. It was so bad that a few times it happened several times in a row, soon as I checked on and/or fixed things up, it would happen again. For GCers, it would only show that either the forums were temporarily turned off (while I was working on things) or a database error would display on all pages until it was fixed. The datacenter, which was great otherwise, really dropped the ball on all that. Took them 6 weeks after I first notified their support that maybe the PDU power strip in the server rack had some electrical problems. Sure enough that was the exact issue and they could/should have fixed it the first day I reported it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulgreek View Post
Thatíd be nice for things to be like they once were, although I know itís way easier said than done.
Agreed on both of those points. We'll definitely give a good go at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulgreek View Post
with the bot traffic, can you still have the anti-bot checks, while keeping GC in the search engine at the same time? Kind of like to verify itís a real person? It just seems like somewhat of a gamble or trial and error kind of thing. Itís like it wonít allow you to have one thing without the other.
There are various ways of dealing with it. I don't plan on going the 'easy' route that I mentioned, though. If I made GC to be members-only & turned off new user registrations the bots would be blocked from loading so many pages, from creating new accounts, etc, and that would almost immediately fix most of those related issues. Could even put the forums behind an additional login so bots couldn't even repeatedly reload forum pages that simply state they need to login to view. These things would result in most pages eventually dropping out of search engines. GC would probably still have good site traffic if that was the solution used, though. The anti-bot stuff may or may not cause pages to be removed from search engines, just depends on how it's done and which search engine.

There are also other services available now where the site integrates into their system and those companies basically act as a transparent front end of the website. They have varying levels of bot filtering as well. They end up basically being a secondary hosting service adding more costs and the bot filtering improves the more you pay. I wouldn't be opposed to those types of services in the future if it was absolutely necessary.

My main concern related to bots are spam bots that join & spam the site like crazy as well as just too many bots simply reading the site causing slowdowns.

If spam bots stay out and the server can handle the other bot traffic with negligible impact on site speed then I'm all good with that. Some other things that I'll be doing I think should give those results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulgreek View Post
Do you find it more time consuming and expensive when itís a lot of people that are posting? Or is it the same, even with the amount of people posting now? Iíve noticed that sometimes the site is slow, sometimes itís fast.
More people posting and even just reading the site (within max capacity limits) is not a problem at all. It's actually a good 'problem' to have. With some changes that will happen soon I hope to see more people & activity on GC again.

Bots are the problem. Search engine spiders included in that. Sometimes there are just so many that it overwhelms the server. My biggest headache were always the spam bots, really quite exhausing dealing with those when they are a problem. I'm sure many site moderators who've seen those bots at the worst would agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulgreek View Post
Well, Iím happy to know you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and are really positive about GCís future. Thatís a plus.

Like you, I think great things are to come for GC. Plus, weíre all here in support of you, John.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheerfulgreek View Post
lol
What? When was that? That must have been before I became a member here. So, I remember when the Greek Chat site I used to post on because of my ethnicity, when that site shut down, when I tried searching for it, this site showed up. But when Iíd lurk here, I kept seeing ethnic Greeks being told by mods that they were on the wrong site. Thatís hilarious that many of us were using the server, more than GC members were using it. Wow!
Based on your join date, it's possible you were on GC shortly before or not too long after the real-time chat rooms were shut down here. I don't recall exactly when that was, but it may have been sometime around when you joined GC.
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  #23  
Old 04-05-2024, 04:05 PM
cheerfulgreek cheerfulgreek is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 14,967
Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
I don't recall how apparent it was to GCers back then. It was basically 6 weeks of web/colo hosting hell for me, though. There was some sort of power issue causing the server to reboot randomly throughout each day. Nearly 100 spontaneous reboots during those 6 weeks. My phone would ping all hours of the day & night. Every single time it happened I had to do some work on the database to check for and fix problems it caused. It was so bad that a few times it happened several times in a row, soon as I checked on and/or fixed things up, it would happen again. For GCers, it would only show that either the forums were temporarily turned off (while I was working on things) or a database error would display on all pages until it was fixed. The datacenter, which was great otherwise, really dropped the ball on all that. Took them 6 weeks after I first notified their support that maybe the PDU power strip in the server rack had some electrical problems. Sure enough that was the exact issue and they could/should have fixed it the first day I reported it..
Pinging from my phone throughout the day and night world drive me nuts! That’s too much. You have much more patience than I do with that. I couldn’t do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
There are various ways of dealing with it. I don't plan on going the 'easy' route that I mentioned, though. If I made GC to be members-only & turned off new user registrations the bots would be blocked from loading so many pages, from creating new accounts, etc, and that would almost immediately fix most of those related issues. Could even put the forums behind an additional login so bots couldn't even repeatedly reload forum pages that simply state they need to login to view. These things would result in most pages eventually dropping out of search engines. GC would probably still have good site traffic if that was the solution used, though. The anti-bot stuff may or may not cause pages to be removed from search engines, just depends on how it's done and which search engine.

There are also other services available now where the site integrates into their system and those companies basically act as a transparent front end of the website. They have varying levels of bot filtering as well. They end up basically being a secondary hosting service adding more costs and the bot filtering improves the more you pay. I wouldn't be opposed to those types of services in the future if it was absolutely necessary.

My main concern related to bots are spam bots that join & spam the site like crazy as well as just too many bots simply reading the site causing slowdowns.

If spam bots stay out and the server can handle the other bot traffic with negligible impact on site speed then I'm all good with that. Some other things that I'll be doing I think should give those results.

Bots are the problem. Search engine spiders included in that. Sometimes there are just so many that it overwhelms the server. My biggest headache were always the spam bots, really quite exhausing dealing with those when they are a problem. I'm sure many site moderators who've seen those bots at the worst would agree.
.
I’ve been looking up a lot of the terminology you’ve been using and am beginning to get a much better understanding of it. I really like the additional login idea. I mean, as long as it’s more beneficial in a less expensive way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Based on your join date, it's possible you were on GC shortly before or not too long after the real-time chat rooms were shut down here. I don't recall exactly when that was, but it may have been sometime around when you joined GC.
I guess that explains it then. Yep, that was around the time I saw other ethnic Greeks trying to join this site, after the other ethnic site I was on shut down and after you shut down the real-time chatrooms, because it was so many of us posting. Hilarious! I guess I was one of the ethnic Greeks to slip through the cracks then, lol. I totally thought it was a requirement to be in a Greek letter organization when I first joined this site, since at the time, I saw so many ethnic Greeks being told they were on the wrong site.

Thank you for this, John. I’m pretty excited to see how things will turn out.
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