Future of CPA

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by Spiderman, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    So not sure if anyone noticed, but the website was down from at least 7am-9am EDT (7 is when I first tried) and I see the last post was around 11:30 pm last night, so maybe it started after midnight?

    Ed fixed it, said it was a slight problem with the server and that he's thinking of changing servers at some point, but also wondered if it's time to shut the website down. As most of you know, there's only a handful of diehards who still come here so maybe we can all go somewhere else?

    For me, I'm not on social media and such sites are blocked at work anyway, which is when I spend my time here. So if we were to continue "gathering", so to speak, it'd have to be a website of some sort. If that's not possible, then that's probably it, for me. :(

    Anyway, it's not laid out in stone that the website is going, Ed was just floating the possibility (if I understood him correctly). What do you guys think?
  2. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I missed the downtime, although I do remember something similar happening before some years ago (for longer, I think).

    It'd be a real shame to lose the CPA, but I can understand that it'll probably happen eventually, as the whole thing is entirely dependent on Ed. There aren't very many Magic websites still around that are as old as this one, at least not ones that are anything like it. This place is an easily accessible archive containing many years' worth of casual Magic discussion. On numerous occasions, I've thought, "Wasn't there something about this card?" and done a search on the CPA, finding long-forgotten threads with fascinating details. I've never been a tournament grinder, and after over 19 years of playing Magic, I probably never will be. I get that we're pretty stagnant here, but we also have something that can't really be found anywhere else. The deck discussion, although sparse, is relaxed and has an off-the-wall atmosphere. It's kept me here even though I'm not on really signed up on any other Magic websites anymore.

    I'm on "social media" like YouTube and Facebook, but Magic discussion there is very ephemeral and it's not suited to what we do here. I mean, where else can you have a multiplayer correspondence Magic game that pauses for a year and then comes back?

    Anyway, I do hope that this place is preserved somehow. I'd do it myself, but I'm entirely lacking in expertise in that department.
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Yeah, if the website is shut down, it'd be nice to archive the forum somehow. Ed may know how or I can look it up, but we're not there yet. I just want to get feedback from everyone still here what the options are if the site *does* shut down, if any.
  4. turgy22 Nothing Special

    I'd definitely prefer to keep coming to this site. I don't post super-often any more, but it's one of the few sites I definitely check every day.
    I also love going back on occasion and re-reading old threads. Mostly just for laughs.
    Also, I have to say that I enjoy the company here, even though it's just a small group.

    As a small aside, would anyone else be in favor of establishing a "contingency" plan in case the site ever shuts down? I don't think anyone aside from Ed is willing to actually fund a full website, but it's pretty easy to create a free forum elsewhere, which is mostly what we do here anyway. It might be nice to have someplace else to go in case of emergency.
  5. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    I may get some server space and might be able to host, but I'm not sure how that would work.
    I hope this keeps going, I do enjoy it.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    At one point, the Facebook group was a sort of contingency plan, but it wasn't a very good one. A backup forum would make more sense. In principle, we could just migrate over to a new forum and all we'd lose would be the other features of the website...

    -Chat: I think this is defunct now.
    -Members: Broken link after Ed updated the message board.
    -Mission Statement: a brief explanation of what the site was originally about, written by Baron Sengir (CPA founder who left back in 2001).
    -Join: Broken link, possibly since Ed updated the message board, but it might not have been working for even longer (obviously I hadn't looked at this item for a long time, maybe not since I joined myself).
    -Voting: This does have questions, but the links are broken and it appears that it stopped updating around the time I first found the CPA (I attempted to join in 2003, but had technical difficulties and didn't actually get an account here until I contacted Ed directly in 2004).
    -Articles: Practically abandoned now, but actually I have two articles in the works (which I haven't made progress on since this summer). I've been overwhelmed with real life, but there's a non-zero chance that I could be working in a different job by next year. Other than my sporadic articles, the only other person who has posted articles since ancient times has been Turgy. While I can't speak for him (I mean, I could, but then he'd retaliate), it seems like the nature of our articles is such that they would work perfectly well as forum posts. Hell, some of my forum posts have probably been better articles than most of my front page content. The only reason we'd submit articles for the front page is sort of "because it's there." For the purposes of new articles, I wouldn't miss it. If we were to get a new message board somewhere else, we could even do an "articles" section or something. All that being said, I'd want to preserve the article archive for posterity. I mean, most of the older stuff has been corrupted so that the punctuation is messed up, but at least it's still there.
    -Links: Surprisingly, a lot of these still work. The selection is a bit odd, although perhaps it made sense at the time. Regardless, I don't think people come here looking for links to other Magic sites anymore...
    -Email: I just checked and while logging into the CPA email accounts still works, they can no longer send nor receive mail due to some computer mumbo jumbo. Anyway, I don't think anyone was still interested, and the email accounts were an artifact from an earlier age of the internet.
    -Headlines: Pretty pointless for a website that isn't extremely active (and ours are broken now and just redirect to the front page).
    -Privacy Statement: Broken link.

    If Ed isn't inclined to do this anymore, that's totally understandable. I was expecting that some day it would happen. I think we could keep our "community" (down to less than 10 people, really) and do business as usual on a new message board, but aside from the archive, it would just suck from a sentimental aspect to lose the continuity. This is a Magic website that goes all the way back to 1999. The only other Magic websites I know with that kind of staying power have been vendor websites, not community-driven sites. We might be dwindled down to irrelevance, but we're still here, and one of the oldest Magic community sites, if not the oldest.
  7. TomB Administrative Assistant

    I'm not sure about the easy part, but that's pretty much what happened when this site was created back in 1999. The easy part happened because Mike was working on the software for the bulletin board (or maybe working on someone else's free software gave him the opportunity to learn and that's what got him interested in creating his own - not sure about the exact chronology), but in any event without Mike this place would never have existed. At first (I think) we were hosted on a free site, but Mike still had to pay every year to renew the domain, then we picked up a sponsor for a couple years. That went away, and since then Mike's been paying out of pocket each year to keep it going.

    We all owe that man a HUGE debt of gratitude.

    He's right though, there's only a few of us left that come here and post, and some (like me) don't really talk about Magic much when we do. And as Oversoul pointed out many of the links and "features" here are broken. I'm one of the mods here, and I didn't realize about some of that stuff (like the email being messed up) because I haven't used those features myself in a good while. Mike told us a while ago, when talking about the site, and the code, that the whole thing needs to be re-written/replaced because it's all so messed up and archaic.

    And yet, with all that, I'd still hate to see it get shut down. There's a lot of fun stuff here in the archives, and I think we still have fun here. Not saying it would be a big loss for the Magic community (does Magic still have a community?), but I think as a mature general gaming site this place would be missed, and with a little TLC could have a much bigger role in the gaming community at large. Is Child of Gaia still around? He said something a few months ago about helping out with the running of the site...Maybe this would be a good time for him to step up and get more involved like he wanted to...:)
  8. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    A free forum might be the best option, since that's really what remains of this website. As Oversoul noted with his listing of the features, most are broken and archaic and were more applicable when we had lots of members.

    The Join not working is slightly worrisome though - is that why we haven't had any new members for a while now?
    The email was shut down a while ago for reasons I forget but I thought Ed/Mike mentioned that - it used to be my primary email until it stopped working and I asked him about it; I'd have to look back and see if the reason is still around somewhere.

    I haven't seen Child lately, pretty much after the 2015 Fantasy Football season ended. He may be around for this season but may have to be contacted there (or a PM from here might notify him).

    I'll see how serious Ed is about shutting down, now that you guys have chimed in :)
  9. Ed Sullivan CPA Founder, Web Guy

    It was more of a passing mention, rather than definitive. I mostly just noted that there's really only 5 or 6 people visiting on a daily basis. I'm likely to want to keep server space for my own needs, so since the site is small, it's not really a huge issue to keep it running. However, it really should have maintenance and the forum should be updated to more recent versions.

    Perhaps most significantly, the main site is 15 year old code. It's getting to the point (actually, it's already been there) where it doesn't run on the more recently version of the language it's built on (PHP). So realistically, I think we need to shut that down and just keep everything within the forums. There are things we can do to give it a bit more of a "front page" vibe, but that'd probably be a bridge to cross later. If we could maintain at least the main article content, that'd be a plus; I'd have to check what's involved with that. Thoughts?
  10. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Oversoul is really the only one submitting articles for the front page and as he noted, they could easily be forum threads. So really, the main article content doesn't really need to be kept current - maybe a link to keep it archived, but that's about it. If we go to just-forums, that's fine with me.
  11. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I have backups of nearly all of my articles, and could easily go through and make sure if I were really invested in the bad old ones I wrote like a decade ago. The "Type Fun" series might not be archived anywhere else (former CPA member Al0ysiusHWWW and I collaborated to start a casual Magic blog, but he decided to get rid of it and replace it with a short-lived Legacy format blog, so I reposted our casual Magic articles here at the CPA). My name's on all that stuff and I could make my own archive of it pretty easily. But there's a substantial amount of other content that would be cool to keep around. Going through manually to save all of them would be too much for me. Can anyone automate the process? It sounds like work, but I don't know enough computer stuff to know how much work. Worst case scenario, the Wayback Machine seems to have captured snapshots of our articles.

    If not for losing the articles, I'd be all for ditching the old front page and having the forum serve as its own front page.
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    All of the articles are saved at the "back end" of the site. So they'll still be here and around, just accessing them anew would need some work, I think.

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