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Where the hell is everybody?


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For the last week or so it seems as if HAIF is almost dead. I'm sure alot of it has to do with the sites makeover, but it seems like a ghosttown.

Wayne? Anybody?

I'm here Gar Bear! :P

It seems the same to me.

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For the last week or so it seems as if HAIF is almost dead. I'm sure alot of it has to do with the sites makeover, but it seems like a ghosttown.

Wayne? Anybody?

This came up in another thread. Things have been a little slower on HAIF lately for several reasons:

  • Summer vacation season
  • July 4th holiday
  • Kids out of school (many of HAIF's visitors are students, so there's usually a summer lull)
  • Domain name switch

The biggest factor, however, is the fact that Google dropped us from its search results for a few weeks. That has been partially remedied as of Monday morning, but more progress has to be made. As of right now, Google has re-indexed 4,499 of 19,585 HAI/HAIF pages I submitted.

It's just a matter of time until things straighten themselves out. I've started advertising HAIF of Google again to bring in some new blood. We'll see if that helps.

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People are concentrating on threads like Sotamayor, Jackson Lee, and the true definition of a d-b on the Wash Av thread.

People are on vacation because the kids go back to school in a few weeks.

People just got back from vacation and are trying to recover. (It's hard to come back!).

People are working late to compensate for their laid off coworkers.

People have nothing to discuss, because nothing big and new is going up in this economy.

People have nothing to discuss because nothing is getting torn down in the Heights in this economy.

People are on Swamplot and HAR, because there's a RDA membership on the line...Dude!

People are at the latest house party being hosted for Anisse Parker (She tours more homes than a realtor!smile.gif )

The weather barely changes these days.

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The world of architecture and development in has slowed down a lot, so that is most likely a contributing factor to the slowdown. Furthermore, I am not sure if Google has caught up to the new URL yet, in terms of searches.

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I think it's because we all pretty much know where each is coming from, on pretty much any issue now.

As much as we are complete opposites, I miss TexasVines. That was entertainment.

EDIT: And for me, it's Tequila time. I wonder how many people drink and post on here... simultaneously...

Edited by BryanS
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For the last week or so it seems as if HAIF is almost dead. I'm sure alot of it has to do with the sites makeover, but it seems like a ghosttown.

Wayne? Anybody?

For the last week, I've been frenetically running all over town, trying to oversee the operations and accounting for multiple construction projects (which I own, so am not getting paid for), including elements of design like tile work, flooring, countertops, etc., maxing out my credit cards, and crossing my fingers that I can close on the condo before the end of summer.

Also, I need a freon recharge, so the full extent of my AC's cooling capability is 83 degrees. And my bathroom is all torn up, so I haven't had a bathtub, shower, or toilet available to me for four days now.

I have also simultaneously been packing up and am about ready to move everything to some other place of residence, which I can't afford unless it's the kind of place where I'm taking my own life into my hands each time I make the trek from the front door to the car. ...Think of the craphole apartments on Fondren. And I can't really move from one construction site to the other right now. (Anybody got a room--or underutilized garage--for immediate rent!?)

I'm maxing out at about four hours of sleep each night, so I browse HAIF a couple times a day, but am being stingy with new posts. And don't expect that replies will come very quickly.

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Early on, I was impressed with the HAIF because of prompt answers to questions. Now, life has slowed down, and people are gone or something...it's alright though. Things will pick back up soon.

Edited by IronTiger
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Smart-ass comments like that not followed by an invitation for me to crash on your sofa for a week or so aren't very helpful.

LOL... I hope were kidding with each other. But seriously, you can stay in my upstairs studio, and there's a shower to. My wife is one helluva cook as well. The only thing I ask is that you give me 30 minutes a day of financial advice.

Edited by Gary
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LOL... I hope were kidding with each other. But seriously, you can stay in my upstairs studio, and there's a shower to. My wife is one helluva cook as well. The only thing I ask is that you give me 30 minutes a day of financial advice.

Of course we were kidding. I do stink pretty bad, though.

In all seriousness...I'll dutifully abide by the Hobo Code, and when you feel that I've been tapped out, I'll kindly move along.

Check with your wife first, then PM me. I really don't want anybody to feel like their lives are being intruded into.

Edited by TheNiche
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LOL... I hope were kidding with each other. But seriously, you can stay in my upstairs studio, and there's a shower to. My wife is one helluva cook as well. The only thing I ask is that you give me 30 minutes a day of financial advice.

Sing for his supper, eh?

Be sure to document the stay.

"TheNich and Gary show."

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  • 1 month later...

Im pretty sure HAIF is back to normal now right?

I wouldn't say that, exactly. It still has a long way to go to return to the levels it was at one year ago, but things certainly have improved since June.

It looks like we're getting a lot more new users who aren't afraid to post right away. That's good.

It looks like a number of the old regular crowd have moved on. This is bad in the sense that some were very active posters. This is good in the sense that a few were just angry old men trying to stir up arguments to give themselves something to do.

Also, I don't know if it's the new verification system in the updated software or what, but the number of spam accounts registering on HAIF is down dramatically. We used to get 1-2 a day. After the HAIF-HD upgrade, that came down to 1-2 a week. I just vetted all the most recent registrations, and we haven't had a spammer in two weeks. Good to see.

I'm going to have a new batch of HAIF Cards printed up. If you don't know what those are, click here.

We had pretty good participation the last time -- about 30 HAIFers spread over 5,000 cards around Houston. If anyone wants a pack to distribute to their friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors just PM me your mailing address. They're free and I appreciate everyone spreading the word about HAIF.

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I wouldn't say that, exactly. It still has a long way to go to return to the levels it was at one year ago, but things certainly have improved since June.

It looks like we're getting a lot more new users who aren't afraid to post right away. That's good.

It looks like a number of the old regular crowd have moved on. This is bad in the sense that some were very active posters. This is good in the sense that a few were just angry old men trying to stir up arguments to give themselves something to do.

Also, I don't know if it's the new verification system in the updated software or what, but the number of spam accounts registering on HAIF is down dramatically. We used to get 1-2 a day. After the HAIF-HD upgrade, that came down to 1-2 a week. I just vetted all the most recent registrations, and we haven't had a spammer in two weeks. Good to see.

I'm going to have a new batch of HAIF Cards printed up. If you don't know what those are, click here.

We had pretty good participation the last time -- about 30 HAIFers spread over 5,000 cards around Houston. If anyone wants a pack to distribute to their friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors just PM me your mailing address. They're free and I appreciate everyone spreading the word about HAIF.

Oh, well things are improving. Good to hear. smile.gif

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  • 3 weeks later...

Oh, well things are improving. Good to hear. smile.gif

I have noticed a change in search engines finding this site. I often use google or yahoo to find and share this site with other co workers or aquaintenaces, but recently its either not been showing up or I get redirected after clicking on the top link. Has something changed to cause this recent problem? Has anyone else noticed similar results?

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I have noticed a change in search engines finding this site. I often use google or yahoo to find and share this site with other co workers or aquaintenaces, but recently its either not been showing up or I get redirected after clicking on the top link. Has something changed to cause this recent problem? Has anyone else noticed similar results?

About half the time I get redirected from google reader to another site, I think for unclaimed web addresses.

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I have to be honest, and I appreciate this website and all the administrators, moderators, and contributers...but....

It has been HARD to come back to after the switch. I really can't stand the way it looks now and the format change. I hope this does not come across rude. I may be just lazy but I'm sure with time I would get used to it.

Just my 2 cents.

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I have noticed a change in search engines finding this site. I often use google or yahoo to find and share this site with other co workers or aquaintenaces, but recently its either not been showing up or I get redirected after clicking on the top link. Has something changed to cause this recent problem? Has anyone else noticed similar results?

When we switched from .info to .com a lot of search engine results got dropped. It's taking a while for the search engines to re-learn HAFI and its connections to other sites on the net.

About half the time I get redirected from google reader to another site, I think for unclaimed web addresses.

I've gotten that on occasion -- but only from Google, never from inside HAIF or from any other web site. There's something about Google that's shooting clicks to weird places. I think it might have something to do with the previous owner of the domain. For me, usually all I have to do is go back and re-click the link and everything is fine. I really don't understand what the problem is, and not surprisingly, there is no method of contacting Google about this.

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I have to be honest, and I appreciate this website and all the administrators, moderators, and contributers...but....

It has been HARD to come back to after the switch. I really can't stand the way it looks now and the format change. I hope this does not come across rude. I may be just lazy but I'm sure with time I would get used to it.

Just my 2 cents.

This goes the same for me. And for some reason the new HAIF is much slower than the old one for me :(

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I have to be honest, and I appreciate this website and all the administrators, moderators, and contributers...but....

It has been HARD to come back to after the switch. I really can't stand the way it looks now and the format change. I hope this does not come across rude. I may be just lazy but I'm sure with time I would get used to it.

Just my 2 cents.

I was a little thrown off by the new interface too at first, but I'm fine with it now. My only complaint would be the overly-large 3" banner at the top, but I guess that's just a personal preference.

This goes the same for me. And for some reason the new HAIF is much slower than the old one for me :(

My experience is just the opposite. Maybe it depends on the browser, CPU, memory usage, or some combination thereof...

Edited by barracuda
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About half the time I get redirected from google reader to another site, I think for unclaimed web addresses.

I'm glad you mentioned this. I thought it was a problem with my computer.

I've spent most of the day looking into it and made some changes that I hope will fix things in a few hours. When/if it happens to you again, please let me know. If you know how to take a screenshot, you can e-mail it to editor@houstonarchitecture.info . That would be very helpful. But again, hopefully in a few hours that bug will be fixed.

This goes the same for me. And for some reason the new HAIF is much slower than the old one for me :(

The new HAIF is a lot more Javascript-focused. If you're using an outdated browser like IE6 that doesn't have complete Javascript support, slowdowns are not unexpected. If you're able to, switch to Safari or Firefox, which both run rings around IE in terms of Javascript performance.

Overall, the weight of the pages has been reduced from the old HAIF, and thus their load time on slow connections should be faster.

I was a little thrown off by the new interface too at first, but I'm fine with it now. My only complaint would be the overly-large 3" banner at the top, but I guess that's just a personal preference.

As noted in another thread, the change in size from the old header to the new one is exactly 22 pixels. Unless you're browsing on a netbook, it should be pretty much the same size. The only real difference is the new one is far more colorful and stands out more than the old one.

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I'm glad you mentioned this. I thought it was a problem with my computer.

I've spent most of the day looking into it and made some changes that I hope will fix things in a few hours. When/if it happens to you again, please let me know. If you know how to take a screenshot, you can e-mail it to editor@houstonarchitecture.info . That would be very helpful. But again, hopefully in a few hours that bug will be fixed.

The new HAIF is a lot more Javascript-focused. If you're using an outdated browser like IE6 that doesn't have complete Javascript support, slowdowns are not unexpected. If you're able to, switch to Safari or Firefox, which both run rings around IE in terms of Javascript performance.

Overall, the weight of the pages has been reduced from the old HAIF, and thus their load time on slow connections should be faster.

As noted in another thread, the change in size from the old header to the new one is exactly 22 pixels. Unless you're browsing on a netbook, it should be pretty much the same size. The only real difference is the new one is far more colorful and stands out more than the old one.

Thanks for checking into it. I thought it was my computer also. I'll let you know if it happens again.

I've been using Firefox for a long time and the performance has been pretty good. It took a few days to get used to the new format and adjust my options but I'm as happy with the new format as I was with the old and some things seem to have improved.

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The new HAIF is a lot more Javascript-focused. If you're using an outdated browser like IE6 that doesn't have complete Javascript support, slowdowns are not unexpected. If you're able to, switch to Safari or Firefox, which both run rings around IE in terms of Javascript performance.

Overall, the weight of the pages has been reduced from the old HAIF, and thus their load time on slow connections should be faster.

I tested it with IE6 and it is indeed much slower than Safari and Firefox. Why anyone still uses IE6 for anything but testing I don't know...

As noted in another thread, the change in size from the old header to the new one is exactly 22 pixels. Unless you're browsing on a netbook, it should be pretty much the same size. The only real difference is the new one is far more colorful and stands out more than the old one.

It may just be perception. The new header seems bigger, but maybe it's just the bolder graphics.

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Ugh. All of the forum links from the main site are directing me to http://www.directnicparking.com/. The new site really frustrates me.

That has nothing to do with the new forum software. I made a change to the www.thehaif.com domain name to make it faster and more reliable. It will take a couple of hours for your ISP to catch up to the changes.

The main site is actually http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/ and is what you should have bookmarked. TheHAIF.com is merely a shortcut.

So "ugh" yourself.

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For the last week or so it seems as if HAIF is almost dead. I'm sure alot of it has to do with the sites makeover, but it seems like a ghosttown.

Wayne? Anybody?

I am still learning how to navigate the new site and so have not been here as much. Also some of the topics I used to subscribe to seem like they have been born, lived a great life, died and then been resurrected ... it's almost like, c'mon folks ... let it die.

That said, I am back and perusing topics and making comments.

But I have been really busy at work and haven't had enough time to really post and interact like I used to during the day. By the time I get home, the last thing I really want to do is argue or go toe-to-toe with folks on this board.

LOL

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I know I have stopped posting so much on HAIF for a couple of reasons...

1. Much busier at work. No time for HAIFy

2. No new projects around town to discuss

3. I feel like I'm much closer to forming my opinions about Houston related issues (rail, zoning etc) than when I first started posting 3 or 4 years ago. Most the people talking about this stuff are somewhat new. (I was them once)

4. Not as interested in topics discussed (see reason 3). I used to read almost all the threads.

5. Not many people are actually here to discuss anything.

6. More apathetic

I think a Plastic return would increase my participation

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That has nothing to do with the new forum software. I made a change to the www.thehaif.com domain name to make it faster and more reliable. It will take a couple of hours for your ISP to catch up to the changes.

The main site is actually http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/ and is what you should have bookmarked. TheHAIF.com is merely a shortcut.

So "ugh" yourself.

Sorry, I know you're doing the best you can. For the record, I don't use "thehaif.com." I'm old school and type in "www.houstonarchitecture.com" each time. All of the forum links on that main home took me to the parking lot place, but it seems to be working now. I'm not sure if that info. is helpful to your troubleshooting, but I hope so!

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I know I have stopped posting so much on HAIF for a couple of reasons...

4. Not as interested in topics discussed (see reason 3). I used to read almost all the threads.

6. More apathetic

Me too. More so #6. A lot of things are proposed and nothing comes of it. I understand some of it is because of the times, but I'm getting to where I don't care anymore. I'm losing interest.

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I'm also not really interested in most of the stuff that is discussed on this forum, as most of it doesn't have much to do with architecture. I usually only end up reading the "Historic Houston" forum since it contains the least amount of opinion. I don't care about other people's opinions on issues and I know they don't care about mine, so I don't log on as frequently anymore.

Please don't interpret this post as a complaint, I'm just trying to offer some explanation for my lack of participation.

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The reason for the lack of architectural threads is obvious. new development has all but ceased. I have cut back posting because of the constant bombardment of Dems who take it upon themselves to constantly ridicule those of us that lean toward conservatism. I used to enjoy the political debates on HAIF, but no longer. In fact, I'm sure this comment will draw heavy critisism.

I feel for Wayne because he has worked very hard for all of us to enjoy this site.

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HAIF has taken kind of a strange turn over the last six to eight months or so.

Instead of a few people (five or six) dominating and commenting on every discussion, what we now have is a larger number of new and recent members who participate in a greater number of smaller discussions.

I patrol all new user registrations to keep an eye out for spammers. It used to be that people would register, but then just read the messages. We would get maybe one or two people a week who would register and immediately post a comment or take part in a discussion. Now, it's more like three or four people a day who join and immediately start posting.

I think the reason for that change is a change in the social dynamic noted above. New users are less afraid to express their opinions and ask questions than they were before. There's less chance of them being shouted down in non-political threads. Again, I think this is related to the fact that we don't have a small gang of bullies jumping ugly with every new post like we used to.

How did that happen?

I think it's a combination of two things. One, I started sanctioning experienced users more often for poor behavior. Some were of the opinion that they could do whatever they wanted on HAIF since they were long-time members. It was a perception shared by many, and one of the top complaints I used to get. After a few of the higher-posting members were slapped with Moderator Preview for bullying other users, they decided that HAIF wasn't fun anymore and moved on.

This is related to...

Reason two -- the change in View New Posts. As we went through the transition from the old form software to the new, there was some flakiness in View New Posts. As it was before, it was a great way to constantly monitor the forum for instant changes to threads and to jump in on the tail end of dozens of threads with little effort. That made it a great tool for those who would impose their views on the masses in a ruthless manner. When View New Posts changed, it became harder to conduct such stalking, and gave the bullies another incentive to move on.

At the beginning of the year, I'd guess that 5% of HAIFers were responsible for 40% of the new posts. Now I think that disparity has largely disappeared. Sure, there are always going to be heavy posters, and that's fine. But we don't have the sort of people who feel obligated to weigh in on every single thread no matter how little they know about the topic.

Gary is right -- overall traffic on HAIF is down. There are a number of reasons why:

  • The annual summer internet slowdown.
  • Bad economy has people spending less time online.
  • The majority of HAIFers HAIF from work, and many people have lost their jobs, or are afraid of losing their jobs.
  • There are still lingering effects from hurricane Ike. We haven't quite recovered to pre-Ike traffic levels.
  • Lack of external promotion of HAIF (which I hope to partially address with the new HAIF cards)
  • About six good, regular posters moved on because they were being harassed by others.
  • More aggressive promotion of TV and newspaper web sites.
  • Less media coverage. There used to be a mention of HAIF in a radio, TV, magazine, or newspaper about once a month. Not so much anymore.
  • The switch from .info to .com killed us in the search engines.
  • The forum software can be difficult for people with very old (think Windows 98 and earlier) computers.
  • The site appears visually heavier than it used to (it's not), which seems to have scared off dial-up users.
  • Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have become a competing time-sink.

We're still Houston's leading internet community. Heck, we're 30x larger than Houstonist. What Houstonist does in a month we do in a day. And while traffic is down, overall posting is up. I'm encouraged by this. Hopefully more people will contact me about HAIF cards and help spread the word about HAIF and we can return the site to its 2008 peak.

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Great info Wayne.

Question: What's up with HAIF radio?

Gone. For now anyway. Money's been tight lately and I couldn't justify spending $30/month on something that didn't (and wasn't intended to) generate any revenue. I had big plans for it, but like so many plans for HAIF -- I have more plans than time to implement them. I know a lot of web sites have legions of volunteers helping out with various sections, but I've never been very good with organizing people.

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I know the feeling. Those of us still with jobs are being stretched to do even more. Meaning even less time for HAIF or other sites. It's all I can do these days just to check my personal email 1-2 during the day.

I know I have stopped posting so much on HAIF for a couple of reasons...

1. Much busier at work. No time for HAIFy

2. No new projects around town to discuss

3. I feel like I'm much closer to forming my opinions about Houston related issues (rail, zoning etc) than when I first started posting 3 or 4 years ago. Most the people talking about this stuff are somewhat new. (I was them once)

4. Not as interested in topics discussed (see reason 3). I used to read almost all the threads.

5. Not many people are actually here to discuss anything.

6. More apathetic

I think a Plastic return would increase my participation

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