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Old December 9th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #1
sprale
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Wiki-style FAQ for maintenance, mods, etc...

The one thing I go back to the old-school site for is the FAQ. I hate to see all that work go to waste, but I like the feel of the locals here a bit more. Are there any plans to work on a project like that here at ninjette.org? I recognize their work, and that their content can not simply be copied. I do think that the format is a productive and intuitive tool that could have a home here. I'd probably post a few of the projects I've done...
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Old December 9th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #2
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Your point is well-taken. I was in conversation with one of the founders/admins over at the 250.org site before I decided to start ninjette.org. Their wiki is simply great. I can't stand their forum area. If they just changed over to vbulletin and reloaded the forum, it really would be hard to compete with. But they are convinced that their users are happy with the current format and have no plans to change it. Ever.

So ninjette.org came to be. I'm convinced vBulletin is the way to go for all large well-run forums. I've come to believe this after using the original Tivo boards, Bay Area Riders Forum, ADVrider, and others. So we use it here at ninjette.org.

One thing that forums aren't great for out of the box is a wiki-type format. They are much better for conversation-type communication. So we've tried to do a few things to make up for that. For all of the technical DIY threads, I've created an index at the top of the new-gen tech area. That will get more and more complete over time. But for a general technical wiki, I think that the way to go may be to gather information over time in the standard thread format, then link them afterwards once we have a critical mass.

I don't want to create a stand-alone wiki that doesn't integrate with the vbulletin search engine, user database, or even general format. It must be seamless and intuitive. I installed the Blog product on this site to see if it would work as a Wiki-like feature, but after playing with it a bit I don't think that's necessarily the way to go. I'll continue to look at ways to do it, and as the content builds up on its own in the tech sections here, once there is a technical solution we should be able to link them together effectively.

The goal of ninjette.org wasn't initially to create the ultimate tech resource, it was to create a ninjette community. But there's no reason that it can't be both at some point. We just have to keep in mind that the wiki we like so much has been over 10 years in the making.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 12:08 PM   #3
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You're absolutely right, its a long-term goal with more than one possible solution. I'm excited to see a Ninjette community wrapped up in modern solutions.

I do think that as tech articles are posted in the forums, eventually they can be easily assimilated into a more intuitively structured shell, which is in turn directly connected to the rest of the domain.

It's neat seeing conversation upstaging the subject.
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Old December 9th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #4
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Looking into this. At first glance it appears to do much of what we want. And it's inexpensive. Downside is that it is a separate product from vBulletin, and that means it's a leap of faith that it will remain compatible and supported while we uprade vBulletin over time. For some things that may not be critical, but if this is the area that we want to stay the most stable over time, it's pretty important that that the wiki is good to go for years.

I need to find some other sites that have used these guys for awhile and get some user & admin feedback, but it's definitely on the "maybe" list. If anyone surfs across a similar product that looks good, feel free to post it up. In the meantime I'll keep
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Old December 9th, 2008, 08:52 PM   #5
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vBulletin forums research for a knowledge base

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
I need to find some other sites that have used these guys for awhile and get some user & admin feedback, but it's definitely on the "maybe" list. If anyone surfs across a similar product that looks good, feel free to post it up. In the meantime I'll keep
The 'FAQ' name is actually already supplied with vBulletin for forum functions. I prefer something along the lines of a subject knowledge base or similar naming to differentiate.

One of my Favorites is Cycle Chaos. The vBulletin forum is separate from the MediaWiki section, but it's the same core as wikipedia uses. I tested it minimally at work once and was impressed. Someone with more administrative knowledge would likely have better information and impressions. I like the format, though it would take more effort to manage.

The North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club has a similar system.

Beginner Bikes uses the articles feature, could suit our needs.

The Ultimate Subaru forums have a forum for user posted articles as well. I like this format; simple, incorporated, current features already in use. The threads simply get submitted, then locked. Mods can update threads when requested.

Some of the LandCruiser forums I frequent use forum posts as a knowledge base.
http://yotatech.com/f63/
http://yotatech.com/f60/

Apple Insider links articles in their articles to forum posts and discussions flow from there.

I think we could either run with MediaWiki or keep the knowledge base in a sub-forum. It's probably worth open discussions to see how many other users have experience using similar sites.

Sorry if it's a bit sparse, that's all I can muster under a few rum drinks...
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Old December 9th, 2008, 09:36 PM   #6
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Thx for these. I just looked through them all quickly, but I'll definitely take a more detailed look over time as well.

Like you mentioned, Beginnerbikes, the Ultimate Subaru forums, and yotatech aren't using any additional software, they just set up subforums with threads and closed the threads after a single post. No reason we couldn't do that, but I'm not sure it adds much from the standard forum format. At some point our Tech forums may have enough content that a natural progression to single reference articles could occur.

Cycle Chaos is close to what I was thinking; I do like how the user database is synced across the two platforms. I'm actually not sure how they did it; people online are screaming about how hard it is to link vbulletin and mediawiki. One possibility is they are using this hack:

http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=191186

I'm not comfortable installing it until they get it working with the latest version of MediaWiki and vB, but it could be promising. I don't like that the interface/feel/style is completely separate, but that may not be a dealbreaker.

The Subie forum uses mediawiki, but it looks like they didn't integrate user id/passwords; and you need to set up a new and separate account to interact with the wiki. I wouldn't want to go in that direction.

I need to learn more about what AppleInsider is doing. I can't find reference to the vbArticles hack, and I thought that was pulled awhile back. But maybe there is a newer supported Articles hack that they are using, or they wrote their own.

TBC...
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Old December 12th, 2008, 01:04 AM   #7
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This is a great idea sprale. I hate the forums over at ninja250.org site. Its so old school. But if we could get something like a ninjette wiki site, that would be pretty awesome. There is not a whole lot of 08+ stuff to read about. We could probably pioneer that here.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 08:15 AM   #8
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Gassavers is another one that has a variety of services, though I can't tell if it is running vBulletin...

I do see a knowledge-base having separate tech sections for each generation of the Ninjette, possibly with a general motorcycling section as well.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 04:22 PM   #9
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Alex, Just to let you know that I think you have done an OUTSTANDING job on this forum. Thanks to your effort, DIY`s by Kelly, VeX, and ohers, I have become conversant in "Bikespeak" and no longer come across as a baloonfooted bufoon. I have been away from bikes a while--I am also married to a great woman (25 years) who is terrified of anything on two wheels--but is calm as a cucumber on a sailboat in 50knot winds and 25 ft. seas--go figure. You might want to touch base with ForumAdmin@BikeSpeakForum. Tell him "Sailariel" sent you. I think that you will find this forum well organized, devoid of flamers, vulgarity, etc. It is a congenial group of cyclists who really care, and who really respect each other. There are also a lot of motorcyclists on this forum, just like there are a lot of bicyclists on yours. Keep up the good work. Alex II P.S Bikespeak is also international and has 10,000members.
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Old January 17th, 2009, 10:52 AM   #10
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I'm at a point where I'm not sure which I like more, wiki or tech sub-forums. Sub-forums would be easier to use, but Alex is right about not having much over the existing forum offerings. Creating a sub-domain is a good way to separate the two if a forum-based solution is used.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #11
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any progress on a FAQ? seems we're growing daily at a constant rate and the same basic questions seem to surface.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #12
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It looks like the mediawiki --> vbulletin bridge is working for more folks now, I'll take a peek at it. Right now it does support the latest 3.8.2 vB and latest 1.14 mediawiki release. Before we start investing a bunch of time and energy into it though, I do need to know if the plan is for them to continue supporting it when vB goes to 4.0 in the near future, as we certainly are.

In the meantime, check out this thread at the top of the tech section. If we find ourselves answering the same basic question repeatedly, it should definitely be in there. Just let me know if anyone would ever like to make additions to that thread.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 01:26 PM   #13
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Our wiki has been launched! Link to launch thread.
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