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Re: We NEED a PLONK option!

Postby technopatra » Tue Sep 30, 2003 2:34 pm

PJ wrote:There have been extensive off-line discussions regarding the architecture of the E-Playa as experienced by contributors.

Nothing springs to my mind that wasn't also complained about on-line, however the discussions were spread about in a great many threads, most of them begun early after the system switch.


Yep. Our bad for not creating the feedback folders until after the switch. We're reading through as much as possible.

Thanks for sharing the offline feedback.

PJ wrote:The bulk of the points made off-line were of the following sort:

• "Page layout needs much more white space."

• "Posts are boxed into little 'cubicles' which interferes with human interaction and insightful communication."

• Fonts too small.

• Excessive non-communication-related graphics (unnecessary borders, redundant info both iconic and label-related).

Plus the items you listed above, the most egregious of which by popular opinion is a lack of a reliable way to view only as-yet-unread posts.

Our question is: are the graphics a done deal? These aren't like requests for bug-fixes--addressing this stuff would have no effect on system reliability or functionality. Still, many thoughtful people feel very strongly about them. Are complaints regarding the "look and feel" of the new E-Playa pointless because the builders of the system are committed to sticking with the look-and-feel that they've already worked to create?

If an alternative look is a possibility, suggested formats were those of Table Talk as well as the old E-Playa.


One of the coolest features about this tool is that it's skinnable. This is just one skin, which some folks did work on to make better (and they did, oh lord you should have seen the out-of-the-box one, yech). We want to create at least a couple of other, lighter, non-graphic- y ones, and we invite anyone else to create their own to share. We've just not had the time to decipher and publish the skinning instructions form www.phpbb.com .

In my sugarplum dreams, graphics folks from all over the burn community would create skins as varied as themecamps. Heck, they cold even BE themecamps.

So cool...eventually-

~technopatra~

p.s. permanent disabling of smilies on a user-by-user basis is also being looked into. Of course, they wouldn't be a problem if people didn't use them...
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Postby Badger » Tue Sep 30, 2003 2:38 pm

p.s. permanent disabling of smilies on a user-by-user basis is also being looked into. Of course, they wouldn't be a problem if people didn't use them...


Can't you just code things so that if someone uses a smiley their keyboard gives them a electric shock.
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Postby technopatra » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:06 pm

III wrote:i'll second (third?) the comments that the highest priorities for me are:

* less cluttered pages (which is a templates, rather than a coding issue)
* accurate management read/unread posts
* a *useable* subscription system for following/ignoring threads



The css templates do require a little coding, but I understand. The read/unread posts is on our plate. The subscription thing is also on the list.

Also, are you aware that subscription is already available in the form of email notification for response to a thread? I know it's not the same, and won't work for folks active on many threads, but it might be better than nothing, for now.

III wrote:less important to me (much less) is the ability to plonk users, or vote against them. and if there is to be administrative management of disruptive users, it should be done by someone with a lot of experience in managing conflicts, like maybe a ranger with a decades worth of burning man experience, like, say, maybe, badger...


Well, that's the whole idea behind ratings - we want as little administrative management as possible. The admins wouldn't be doing the ratings..the community would. We everyone to police themselves.

<brief personal rant>
But I have to say, I read of lot of useless, mean-spirited dreck on the old eplaya, and unfortunately, to a new user, it was more visible than most of the meaty, satisfying discussions, and it scared many a potential poster away. I don't want the newbies to have to survive trial by fire. Maybe the Tawnee thing would've played out ok, maybe not. But supporting name-calling dressed in pseudopsychological-speak isn't what I'm here for, and it isn't what the eplaya is for, either.
</personal rant>

One other idea is to give a couple of the more genial, active posters some admin privileges, like moving posts or the ability to suspend an especially destructive user. I love this idea. We need to come up with (ugh) a policy so that there's no grey areas about when it's appropriate to exercise those privileges. But we need to do that anyway, even for the admins. We're working on it, will make it as liberal as possible.

It sounds like this would be more agreeable, as long as some of you are willing to bear the stigma of being sanctioned by the Powers That Be - us admins.

~technopatra~
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Postby technopatra » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:12 pm

Badger wrote:
p.s. permanent disabling of smilies on a user-by-user basis is also being looked into. Of course, they wouldn't be a problem if people didn't use them...


Can't you just code things so that if someone uses a smiley their keyboard gives them a electric shock.


LOL. I'm no fan of smilies, but I'm always surprised at the emotional violence they incite. I mean, I know people who collect Hello Kitty stickers on their cars, have tattoos of cute little ladybugs, and are sweet as pie in person but one little emoticon has them in a virtual bell tower with an automatic rifle.

Oh to have the power of the emoticon...I could rule the world...of course it would be a world of snarling, insane psychopaths...

~technopatra~
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Postby III » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:20 pm

>email notification

sure. but it doesn't scale well. it's only useful if oyu want to monitor a small percentage of the discussions.

i'd guess that there were several dozen people who managed to participate in 80% or so of the old eplaya, on only a couple hours a day. (whether that is a worthwhile use of time is another discussion).

that would allow them to contribute to meaty discussions, when they happened.

now, it seems those same people have dropped their interaction to 20% or less of the active folders, thereby losing some of the flow and community feel that existed on the old eplaya.


============

i also understand your concerns about hostility. it probably doesn't help that i think some of that abrasiveness was a sign of healthy individuals interacting in a rigerous community. i'm not sure you can really have a healthy community without it. (or do all of your staff meetings run smoothly and without debate?). but i also realize that it can be intimidating to newcomers. i'm not sure what the answer is, except that pasteurizing everything in an attempt to make it palatable to newcomers may mean that you only ever get newcomers. maybe a safe area which is actively policed by admins, and a free for all area where the community gets to try to take care of itself would allow both aspects to grow and learn from each other.
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Postby precipitate » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:22 pm

> One other idea is to give a couple of the more genial, active posters
> some admin privileges, like moving posts or the ability to suspend an
> especially destructive user.

Guess that rules me out.
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Postby PJ » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:29 pm

I'm surprised there aren't more requests to do something to reduce the quantity of cow pictures.
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Postby blyslv » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:42 pm

technopatra wrote:[
One other idea is to give a couple of the more genial, active posters some admin privileges, like moving posts or the ability to suspend an especially destructive user. I love this idea. We need to come up with (ugh) a policy so that there's no grey areas about when it's appropriate to exercise those privileges. But we need to do that anyway, even for the admins. We're working on it, will make it as liberal as possible.

~technopatra~


There's seems to be an equal amount of drek on the old eplaya as on the new eplaya. I think the navigation issues make people more upset about it here.

What is wrong with simply ignoring someone's drek? Electing eplaya sherriffs also seems fraught with difficulities.
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Postby blyslv » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:43 pm

olivia wrote: but with more people you also get more assholes, more trolls, more everything, the volume is just turned up.

.


Kinda like real life, or what's happened to the event itself.
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Postby blyslv » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:47 pm

RebA! wrote:So.. here is where I will stay.


Oh wow, did you see that really kewl post in the OTHER section of the BBS. One of the best hings I've ever seen on the internet. Way rad!
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Postby precipitate » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:48 pm

> Electing eplaya sherriffs also seems fraught with difficulities.

Yeah, which is why I think their one and only task should be to relocate
threads that are inadvertently in the wrong place. The 2003 Theme
section is just woefully cluttered right now, with stuff that's very active
and interesting to lots of people, it's just in the wrong fucking place and
no one except the admins can do anything about it. That'd be a good
use of moderator power.

Dealing with truly troublesome users is more difficult. Me, I would have
plonked (not deleted, just plonked) several people very early on. Others
might have enjoyed their antics, I dunno. It's a judgment call. I
think that short of death threats users and threads should be dealt with
by the board members instead of by an admin.

However, if there are moderators, I would hope that they're people who
are quite actively a part of this online community.
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Postby antron » Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:33 pm

i agree that a more user-friendly way to pick-up where you last were on a thread woudl be my highest priority.

my second would be the ignore user function. i wouldn't want to restrict creative participation because of my own taste in reading, but i sure would like my computer to help me ignore it.

moderation is tricky. we don't need a cop. perhaps the moderator function could become the eplaya virtual equivalent to the organizer of a theme camp.

finally, i believe that in the absence of some kind of transaction (like slashdot, where high ratings lead to community leadership), that users rating users devolves pretty quickly.

i'm looking forward to the changes.
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Postby Kinetic » Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:02 pm

After this post, I'm staying silent on this one.

I can see the power e-playa has to enhance BM, and I hope the kinks get worked out so it reaches it's potential. We're already losing time. Right after the event interest peaks with the lost and found people...that's the initial spike. Some of these problems may have run them off and we're losing valuable contributors we could use in here.

I know the admins are swamped but I hope all of this can be worked out quickly so we don't keep running people off. It's going to be interesting to see the usage stats in November / December before people start paying attention regarding the 04 theme and ticket prices in January. That's when we'll know if this is really an improvement over the old e-playa or not.

As for moderators....No one wants to play the role of enforcer. But no one wants another Dunphy or Chunking either, and I feel the e-playa needs someone who in those cases, and with a majority backing them, would be able to toss them out should the need arise. I also like Precip's suggestion on cleaning up the threads...having someone who could help with cleaning them up would help on making the place a lot more user friendly. The new burners are lost and when the old burners start squawking there's definitely a problem with the thread structure.

As for who gets the dirty job.....I was going to suggest that the person(s) be picked out by the majority but that would be a drawn out political process. You can't please everyone so hopefully the admins if they implement this will pick someone, lay out the expectations and rules, and let 'em loose.

Whatever happens, I love e-playa and I would be lost without it. I'm 1800 miles from the playa and farther from most of the people here so this is my lifeline to the event and to them. I really want to see it continue and get stronger. The potential is huge. We just need to get it refined and firing on all cylinders!
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Postby Lydia Love » Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:11 pm

I would hope we can do without anyone having the power to knock someone off the board - if nothing else dunphy and chunking were memorable.

The idea of having a vote of some sort - dunno, but that just gives me the wiggins. I think it could very easily turn into a popularity contest - perhaps a self defeating one since one would hope those people obsessed with their rating wouldn't end up rating that high.
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Postby PJ » Tue Sep 30, 2003 6:11 pm

Kinetic wrote:I can see the power e-playa has to enhance BM, and I hope the kinks get worked out so it reaches it's potential.


In the great scheme of things the E-Playa is a very minor detail. Less than 3000 people have signed-up; most have made zero to a couple of posts. Really, this is a small-time thing. If it didn't exist at all there would still be 30000+ ticket sales next year and the year after, slowly and steadily increasing. If it weren't for volunteer labor the BBS wouldn't exist.

The web site on the other hand is extremely vital for both promotion and dissemination of vital preparation info.
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Postby stu » Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:04 pm

My 2 cents,

There needs to be an accurate way of tracking unread posts. I am missing stuff because of the new BB, and I don't like it.

I have already discovered a "plonk" feature: the scroll button or key (depending on your mouse/keyboard preferences) allows you to quickly skip past stuff you are not interested in while keeping the flow of the thread going.

Lastly, many thanks to you techie folks who keep this going for all of us ungrateful whiners.

There is no need to reply to this, as these ideas have been covered, I just want the checks to be entered in the appropriate columns when it comes to prioritizing what to do.
<i>What's</i> my fucking gift?
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Re: We NEED a PLONK option!

Postby PJ » Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:22 pm

technopatra wrote:...One of the coolest features about this tool is that it's skinnable. This is just one skin, which some folks did work on to make better (and they did, oh lord you should have seen the out-of-the-box one, yech). We want to create at least a couple of other, lighter, non-graphic- y ones, and we invite anyone else to create their own to share. We've just not had the time to decipher and publish the skinning instructions form www.phpbb.com ...


There are samples available of downloadable skins here:
http://www.phpbb.com/styles/styles_demo/index.php?s=50
Some are awful, some are just different but useable. Only one that I found used different fonts and none got rid of the boxes around all things box-able. (Are enemies of white space the wave of the future?)

Didn't find instructions as to where the skin files go on one's PC, etc.
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Re: We NEED a PLONK option!

Postby PJ » Tue Sep 30, 2003 7:33 pm

Only one that I found used different fonts and none got rid of the boxes around all things box-able.


I did find boxes with white backgrounds and--on separate style samples--boxes with white borders. That implies it can be done, at least. (Albeit bandwidth-inefficiently, perhaps.)
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Postby Kinetic » Tue Sep 30, 2003 8:01 pm

PJ wrote:
Kinetic wrote:I can see the power e-playa has to enhance BM, and I hope the kinks get worked out so it reaches it's potential.


In the great scheme of things the E-Playa is a very minor detail. Less than 3000 people have signed-up; most have made zero to a couple of posts. Really, this is a small-time thing. If it didn't exist at all there would still be 30000+ ticket sales next year and the year after, slowly and steadily increasing. If it weren't for volunteer labor the BBS wouldn't exist.

The web site on the other hand is extremely vital for both promotion and dissemination of vital preparation info.


That's still 3000 people. Granted, it's small in one regard but that's still 3000 individual voices and 3000 mixed among 30,000 can certainly make an impact on things. Hmmm, how many women ride in Critical Tits....5000? 7000? Ok, so it's a smaller group but if most of them pick up the values and some of the better attitudes floating around here, it could influence the event a little. Change has to start somewhere, why not here?

I just hope the cow fetishes stay with PJ, some things are best left alone.
Edited Section:
Oh and I said I'd remain silent...so much for trying to do that!
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Postby precipitate » Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:37 pm

> Didn't find instructions as to where the skin files go on one's PC, etc.

They don't. They must be installed by the admin, on the server.
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Postby joel the ornery » Sun Oct 05, 2003 5:02 am

Paul Simon said and sang it better than I can...


Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Whoah and I know a man, he came from my hometown
He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown
He said Dolores, I live in fear
My love for you's so overpowering, I'm afraid that I will disappear
Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

I know a woman, who became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day ain't got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
And I think of things that might have been
Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

And I know a father who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons for the things he'd done
He came a long way just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and he headed home again

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're workin' our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway, when in fact we're slip sliding away

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away
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Postby DE FACTO » Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:33 am

olivia wrote:i've definitely seen messageboards ruined by influxes of new people. as i've said before, i think the new eplaya is easier to use and will encourage more people, but with more people you also get more assholes, more trolls, more everything, the volume is just turned up.

.


i really dont think there is too much to worry about. at any given time the most users on at any time is 117 people. (as the bbs says ) now if that is a lot of traffic i missed it. not much to worry about.

just so i make myself clearer. i understand that there are about or over 3000 registered users, as i've read somewhere earlier i think in the "feature requests".
groups are spliting up and this is the way it will and should happen. it's still part of the process. just as when you go to burningman there are diffrent groups of camps. diffrent themes.

i say go with the flow for a bit and see what happens. nothing here from what i see is really out of control. hey if the admins try to please everybody (which they can't) they will not only go nuts it will be impossible to properly maintain the site.

i don't see it slipping away. i just see it growing. like burningman is.

and i must say, please don't drive the admins crazy.
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Postby PJ » Sun Oct 12, 2003 4:54 pm

And growth trumps all and justifies anything.

Be sure to not complain when your favorite park is paved over for housing and a strip mall. Growth is always good.
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Postby Kinetic II » Sun Oct 12, 2003 5:06 pm

PJ wrote:And growth trumps all and justifies anything.

Be sure to not complain when your favorite park is paved over for housing and a strip mall. Growth is always good.


And don't complain when all that hard surface parking lot for that strip mall and the added roofs of those houses adds to the water runoff and your house downstream gets flooded.

And don't complain when taxes go up to pay for all those new roads they had to put in. I live in the land of urban sprawl. KC has more highways than L.A. We know how to eat up that green space.
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Postby DE FACTO » Sat Oct 18, 2003 2:36 pm

PJ wrote:And growth trumps all and justifies anything.

Be sure to not complain when your favorite park is paved over for housing and a strip mall. Growth is always good.


As many things as i have lost in my lifetime, there is one thing I know for sure.
If anything else, you grow from the experience. Ripley's belive it or not.

Everything changes, and needs to change. Change is good. It's a part of growing up.
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Postby technopatra » Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:14 am

III wrote:
i also understand your concerns about hostility. it probably doesn't help that i think some of that abrasiveness was a sign of healthy individuals interacting in a rigerous community. i'm not sure you can really have a healthy community without it. (or do all of your staff meetings run smoothly and without debate?). but i also realize that it can be intimidating to newcomers. i'm not sure what the answer is, except that pasteurizing everything in an attempt to make it palatable to newcomers may mean that you only ever get newcomers. maybe a safe area which is actively policed by admins, and a free for all area where the community gets to try to take care of itself would allow both aspects to grow and learn from each other.


Well it's certainly not my intention to pasteurize everything. I like your idea of having only some areas moderated. Tho, again, the mods should only have the ability to move/merge threads, and perhaps nudge folks to stay on topic if needed. No deletion capability will be given except to the admins, and we will only exercise that power in worst-case scenarios.
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Postby technopatra » Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:22 am

Kinetic II wrote:
PJ wrote:And growth trumps all and justifies anything.

Be sure to not complain when your favorite park is paved over for housing and a strip mall. Growth is always good.


And don't complain when all that hard surface parking lot for that strip mall and the added roofs of those houses adds to the water runoff and your house downstream gets flooded.

And don't complain when taxes go up to pay for all those new roads they had to put in. I live in the land of urban sprawl. KC has more highways than L.A. We know how to eat up that green space.


I am not at all dismissive of the deep pain that some folks are feeling from the change in the tool, but perhaps keeping this instance of growth in perspective might help?

Likening it to fast food, urban sprawl, and homelessness is clever and all, but hardly accurate or fair to the folks trying to fix the mistakes we made and improve the experience so that it is a good one for more than, say, 20 users.
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Postby alice » Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:23 am

joel the ornery wrote:Paul Simon said and sang it better than I can...


Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Whoah and I know a man, he came from my hometown
He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown
He said Dolores, I live in fear
My love for you's so overpowering, I'm afraid that I will disappear
Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

I know a woman, who became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day ain't got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
And I think of things that might have been
Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

And I know a father who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons for the things he'd done
He came a long way just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and he headed home again

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're workin' our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway, when in fact we're slip sliding away

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away


uh, i don't suppose you want to have sex, do you?

i don't know if i'm an idiot or a mororn.

which one is dumber?
bitch all you want - it won't change nothin.
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Postby joel the ornery » Wed Oct 22, 2003 2:49 am

PJ wrote:And growth trumps all and justifies anything.

Be sure to not complain when your favorite park is paved over for housing and a strip mall. Growth is always good.


Kudzu... growth isn't always good.
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Postby PJ » Wed Oct 22, 2003 12:51 pm

joel the ornery wrote:
PJ wrote:And growth trumps all and justifies anything.

Be sure to not complain when your favorite park is paved over for housing and a strip mall. Growth is always good.


Kudzu... growth isn't always good.


The point is, those responsible for the growth ALWAYS think it's a Good Thing. This is true for school administrators, owners of factories, cancer cells, whatever.
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